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Epstein death ruled a suicide

NEW YORK (AP) — New York City’s medical examiner ruled Jeffrey Epstein’s death a suicide Friday, confirming after nearly a week of speculation that the financier hanged himself in his jail cell.

Epstein, 66, was found dead in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York City on Aug. 10, touching off outrage and disbelief over how such a high-profile prisoner, known for socializing with powerful people including presidents Donald Trump and Bill Clinton, could have gone unwatched.

Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Barbara Sampson said in a statement that she made the suicide determination “after careful review of all investigative information, including complete autopsy findings.”

The Bureau of Prisons said at the time Epstein had apparently killed himself, but that didn’t squelch conspiracy theories about his death.

One of Epstein’s lawyers, Marc Fernich, declined to comment. An office telephone number for Dr. Michael Baden, the pathologist hired by Epstein’s representatives to observe the autopsy, rang unanswered.

Epstein, who was charged with sexually abusing numerous underage girls over several years, had been placed on suicide watch last month after he was found on his cell floor July 23 with bruises on his neck.

But multiple people familiar with operations at the jail say he was taken off the watch after about a week and put back in a high-security housing unit where he was less closely monitored, but still supposed to be checked on every 30 minutes.

Attorney General William Barr says officials have uncovered “serious irregularities” at the jail. The FBI and the Justice Department’s inspector general are both investigating.

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