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Case dropped against jail guards on duty night Epstein died

The guards had admitted to having “willfully and knowingly” falsified records to make it seem they were monitoring Epstein properly.
Jeffrey Epstein
Jeffrey Epstein in 2004.Rick Friedman / Corbis via Getty Images

U.S. prosecutors decided to end their criminal case against two Manhattan jail guards who admitted to falsifying records on the night Jeffrey Epstein killed himself on their watch.

In a Thursday filing in Manhattan federal court, prosecutors asked a judge to dismiss claims against Tova Noel and Michael Thomas, after both complied with the six-month deferred prosecution agreements they agreed to in May.

Epstein was found hanging in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center on Aug. 10, 2019, while awaiting trial for sex trafficking, in what New York City’s medical examiner called a suicide.


Noel and Thomas were accused of falling asleep and surfing the internet that night rather than checking on Epstein every 30 minutes.

Both admitted to having “willfully and knowingly” falsified records to make it seem they were monitoring Epstein properly.

Metropolitan Correctional Center guard Tova Noel, in yellow, is surrounded by supporters as she leaves Federal Court in New York on Nov. 25, 2019. Timothy A. Clary / AFP via Getty Images

Their deferred prosecution agreements required that they each perform 100 hours of community service and cooperate with a federal inquiry arising from Epstein’s death.

Epstein had been on suicide watch the month before died.

Thomas’ lawyer Montell Figgins said his client was happy with the dismissal and looked forward to putting the matter behind him. Noel’s lawyers did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Metropolitan Correctional Center guard Michael Thomas, center, leaves Federal Court in New York on Nov. 25, 2019. Timothy A. Clary / AFP via Getty Images

Epstein’s longtime associate, British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, was convicted on Wednesday of helping recruit and groom underage girls for Epstein to abuse over at least a decade.

Maxwell is expected to appeal her conviction.