New York medical examiner stands by assessment of Epstein death

New York medical examiner stands by assessment of Epstein death
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The New York City medical examiner who ruled Jeffrey Epstein's death a suicide is standing by her assessment after a pathologist hired by Epstein's family suggested that evidence showed signs of a possible homicide.

Chief Medical Examiner Barbara Sampson, who performed the autopsy on Epstein, said Wednesday that she stands "firmly" behind her determination that Epstein's death in August was a hanging by suicide, The Associated Press reported.

"The cause is hanging, the manner is suicide," she said.

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Epstein, who was in prison awaiting trial on federal sex trafficking charges, was found dead Aug. 10 in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in lower Manhattan.

Later in August, Sampson ruled Epstein's death a suicide, but conspiracy theories swirled about the exact circumstances surrounding the wealthy financier's death.

Sampson weighed in on Wednesday hours after Michael Baden, a forensic pathologist hired by Epstein's brother to look into his death, said on "Fox & Friends" that there was "evidence here of homicide," saying it should be investigated further.

Baden, who was present in the room for Epstein's autopsy, cited fractures to Epstein's hyoid bone that are "extremely unusual in suicidal hangings" and more common in "homicidal strangulation."

Baden said he hadn't seen that type of injury from suicide in his 50 years of experience but noted that his observations weren't conclusive.

Other experts, according to the AP, have said hyoid bone fractures in suicides are uncommon but usually happen more in older people.

Epstein was 66.

Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrJudge rejects DOJ effort to delay House lawsuit against Barr, Ross Holder rips into William Barr: 'He is unfit to lead the Justice Department' Five takeaways on Horowitz's testimony on Capitol Hill MORE has promised an in-depth investigation into how Epstein died, criticizing the prison Epstein was in for "serious irregularities."

The federal prison has also faced scrutiny over reports that guards who were tasked with watching Epstein didn't check up on him every 30 minutes like they were supposed to.