Officers didn't check on Epstein for "several" hours before his death, violating protocol

Corrections officers had not checked in on financier and registered sex offender Jeffrey Epstein for “several” hours before he was found hanging in his cell Saturday, a person familiar with the matter said, just one in a series of missteps in the hours leading up to his death.

Officers should have been checking on Epstein, who was being held in a special housing unit of the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York City, every 30 minutes, and, under normal circumstances, he also should have had a cellmate, according to the person familiar with the matter and union officials representing facility employees.

But a person who had been assigned to share a cell with Epstein was transferred on Friday, and — for reasons that investigators are still exploring — he did not receive a new cellmate, the person familiar with the matter said Sunday night. That left Epstein, who had previously been placed on suicide watch, alone and unmonitored — at least in the hours before his death — by even those officers assigned to guard him.