Since Jeffrey Epstein was found dead on Saturday, reams of conspiracy theories have obscured the details surrounding the incident, which was presumed to be a suicide. Epstein, who was found unconscious in his cell in late July, would have likely been closely observed by the Metropolitan Correctional Center, where he was being held while facing charges of sex trafficking teenage girls over a period of decades.
But according to reporting in the New York Times, not only did Epstein’s guards fail to carry out the mandated checks, scheduled for every 30 minutes, they also allegedly faked jail logs to cover up for the mistake. The excuse for oversight is especially rich: jail officials told the Times that two of the guards were sleeping during the three hours Epstein remained unwatched.
Both the officers tasked with watching Epstein were assigned to the unit temporarily, for extra overtime pay, according to the Times:
One of the staff members was a former correctional officer who had taken a different position at the detention center that did not involve guarding detainees. He had volunteered to work again as a correctional officer for the extra overtime pay, a law enforcement official and an employee at the jail said.
A second officer, a woman who was assigned to that wing, had been ordered to work overtime because the jail was short staffed.
The two officers have been placed on administrative leave—an action that will do little to quell the outlandish theories surrounding Epstein’s crimes and death.