New York Coroner Rejects Claim That Jeffrey Epstein's Death Was 'Homicide'

The New York City coroner stands by her determination that Jeffrey Epstein killed himself.
Jeffrey Epstein was found unresponsive in his Metropolitan Correctional Center cell on Aug. 10. New York Division of Criminal Justice Services

New York City's medical examiner stands by her ruling that convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein died by his own hand while awaiting trial on a new set of sex trafficking charges.

In a statement issued Wednesday, coroner Dr. Barbara Sampson reiterated her determination than Epstein, the millionaire accused of luring underage girls to his home for sex, killed himself inside his Metropolitan Correctional Center cell in August.

She was responding to allegations from a former medical examiner that Epstein's death was "likely" a homicide. Michael Baden, hired by Epstein's brother to oversee the autopsy, gave several interviews saying the prisoner's injuries were more consistent with strangulation than hanging.

"Our investigation concluded that the cause of Mr. Epstein's death was hanging and the manner of death was suicide. We stand by that determination," Sampson said. 

"We continue to share information around the medical investigation with Mr. Epstein's family, their representatives, and their pathology consultant. The original medical investigation was thorough and complete. There is no reason for a second medical investigation by our office," the statement added.

Baden, in a Wednesday appearance on "Fox & Friends," said Epstein had several broken bones in his neck that are usually indications of a homicide. "Hanging does not cause these broken bones, and homicide does," he said. "Usually two bones, even three, is a huge amount of pressure (that) was applied," Baden said.

"I think that the evidence points toward homicide rather than suicide," he said during the appearance. 

Sampson ruled on Aug. 10 that Epstein's death was a suicide. Days before his death, Epstein had been removed from suicide watch, about two weeks after he reportedly attempted to take his own life. That move was later criticized by criminal justice experts.

Guards who were supposed to monitor him in his cell were said to have fallen asleep on duty, and video cameras outside Epstein's cell were not working, authorities said. The FBI and other agencies investigated the death, with U.S. Attorney Bob Barr saying he was "appalled" by findings of "serious irregularities" at the federal detention center. 

However, Barr said he didn't doubt Epstein killed himself.

Baden, who once served as a New York medical examiner, has been a paid consultant in several high-profile cases including as a defense witness in O.J. Simpson's criminal trial and in record producer Phil Spector's murder trial. 

He is also a consultant to Fox News.

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