According to her attorney, one of the guards who was supposed to be checking in on serial pedophile Jeffrey Epstein’s prison cell while he was allegedly busy hanging himself is ready to cooperate fully with the ongoing investigation. Tova Noel is reportedly ready to talk with prosecutors who are investigating the case, despite the fact that some charges have already been brought against her and one of her colleagues. So is anyone starting to get nervous about this yet? (NY Post)
A Manhattan prison guard is willing to cooperate with a federal investigation into Jeffrey Epstein’s death — even though she’s been accused of goofing off while he hanged himself, her lawyer said Wednesday.
Tova Noel “did not make any efforts to frustrate the Government’s investigation” following Epstein’s jailhouse suicide, defense lawyer Jason Foy said in a statement.
“In fact, Ms. Noel remains available to fully and truthfully cooperate with the Inspector General’s investigation, which is also geared toward uncovering the many problems that existed from the commencement of her employment [and] which continue to plague the Metropolitan Correctional Center.”
Given the endless parade of “Epstein Didn’t Kill Himself” memes swamping social media, you can’t see a headline like this without wondering precisely what sort of “cooperation” Officer Noel might be prepared to offer. Some of the comments in response to the linked article have already made reference to various powerful people once again “getting nervous” and speculations about Noel’s safety are sure to follow.
I’m rather dubious of that line of thinking, however, and for two reasons that seem equally valid. First of all, the two officers charged in the incident could only play this one of two ways. The first is to keep your mouth shut and have your attorney put on the best defense possible, hoping to win over the jury. The other is to be as cooperative as possible in the hope of getting a favorable plea bargain and avoid the trial entirely. It could very well be that Noel’s lawyer is going for the latter, not seeing much hope of a not guilty verdict.
As I wrote here previously, that would probably make sense. If there are logbooks in the possession of prosecutors showing clearly falsified entries, the prosecutors probably have a pretty easy job in front of them. And despite the high-profile nature of the case and all the media attention it’s been drawing, the state will likely still find it more appealing to cut a deal and avoid the risk of a hung jury.
The other factor here is precisely what information Noel could offer that’s not already obvious. The most shocking outcome would be if she were to somehow reveal that Epstein was, in fact, murdered rather than having taken his own life. But if that’s the case, then Noel would almost certainly be implicated in at least the coverup of a homicide, if not being directly involved in it herself. When you compare that possibility to the current charges she’s facing (which basically amount to negligence on the job and falsifying a few records), the choice seems clear.
Even if there is a dark secret about what really happened in that prison cell waiting to be discovered, Tova Noel looks like one of the least likely people to bring it to light. And until or unless somebody comes forward with more direct knowledge and evidence to the contrary, we’re still left with the coroner’s conclusions as to what happened.