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Jeffrey Epstein guards agree to plea deal

Prosecutors said two Manhattan Correctional Center guards who were supposed to check on Jeffrey Epstein every 30 minutes declined to do so, instead sleeping on the job and browsing the Internet during the time when he killed himself. File Photo courtesy of the New York State Division of Criminal Justice
Prosecutors said two Manhattan Correctional Center guards who were supposed to check on Jeffrey Epstein every 30 minutes declined to do so, instead sleeping on the job and browsing the Internet during the time when he killed himself. File Photo courtesy of the New York State Division of Criminal Justice

May 22 (UPI) -- Two New York City correctional officers on duty when convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein died in custody in 2019 have agreed to a plea deal with prosecutors, court documents indicate.

A letter filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on Friday said charges will be dismissed for Toval Noel and Michael Thomas in exchange for serving six months supervision and 100 hours of community service each. The two former guards also must cooperate with a Justice Department Office of Inspector General review of Epstein's death.

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The letter, signed by U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss, says Noel and Thomas admitted they "willfully and knowingly completed materially false count and round slips regarding" their monitoring of Epstein and other prisoners in the Manhattan Correctional Center.

Prosecutors said they fell asleep and used the Internet on the overnight shift of Aug. 10. Epstein, who faced trial for sex trafficking, was later found hanged.

Guards were supposed to perform headcount of prisoners every 30 minutes, but their indictments said the guards "never conducted such counts" on the night of his death.

Epstein had previously been placed on suicide watch, due to injuries found to his neck while in custody.

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The court must approve the agreement between the defendants and prosecutors.

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