Timeline: What Epstein and his prison guards did in his final hours
The federal indictment against two prison guards on duty the night Jeffrey Epstein died provides a detailed breakdown of what was going on in the final hours of his life.
Prosecutors say the guards, Tova Noel and Michael Thomas, repeatedly failed to check on Epstein as required and then filed false forms saying they had. The guards pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy and filing false documents in Manhattan federal court on Tuesday and were released on bail packages that include a $100,000 bond for each defendant.
Epstein’s attorneys declined to comment on the indictment.
The timeline below is based on public information, criminal court hearings and the federal indictment, which itself is based on internal prison surveillance video, prison records, interviews with those involved and other sources. Incidents that allegedly occurred in the jail are based on the indictment.
Epstein’s arrest and first suicide attempt
July 6: Epstein is arrested on federal charges for allegedly running a sex-trafficking enterprise between 2002 and 2005 in which he paid underage girls to have sex with him at his Manhattan home and his estate in Palm Beach. He is held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan.
July 8: Epstein, 66, pleads not guilty to sex trafficking of minors and conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking of minors.
July 10: Epstein is assigned to the prison’s Special Housing Unit, known as the SHU, due to risk factors for suicidality and safety concerns related to housing him in general population. In the SHU, inmates are assigned to six separate tiers, each of which has eight cells.
July 18: A federal judge denies Epstein bail and rules he must remain in the Metropolitan Correctional Center pending his trial.
July 23: Prison officers find Epstein on the floor of his cell with a strip of bedsheet around his neck. He is subsequently transferred out of SHU and placed on suicide watch in the hospital wing, where he is observed 24 hours a day by a staff member or a specially trained inmate companion. He remains on suicide watch for about 24 hours and is transferred to psychological observation, also in the hospital wing.
July 30: Epstein is transferred back to the SHU and required to have an assigned cellmate. He was assigned to the cell closest to the correctional officers’ desk in the SHU’s common area, which is about 15 feet from the cell.
July 31: Epstein appears in Manhattan federal court and shows no visible signs of injury. The next court appearance is set for October 8.
The night of Epstein’s death
August 9: Hundreds of pages of court documents are unsealed in New York federal court that allege new details of sexual abuse claims against Epstein and several associates.
August 9, 8 a.m.: Epstein’s cellmate is transferred out of the prison in a routine, prearranged transfer. No new cellmate is assigned.
August 9, 4 p.m.: Tova Noel, a 31-year-old officer at MCC, begins the first of two back-to-back eight-hour shifts in the SHU. Noel has been employed as a correctional officer at MCC since about 2016.
Noel and an unnamed “Officer-1” do not perform the required 4 p.m. institutional count, internal video shows, according to the indictment. They complete and sign a count slip falsely saying they did. The count slip is collected and delivered to the control center, where officers are responsible for comparing the count slips to the institution’s inmate roster, the indictment says.
August 9, 5:03 p.m.: Based on the falsified count slip, the Control Center clears the 4 p.m. count.
August 9, 7:49 p.m.: Epstein returns to the SHU from an attorney visit and is escorted to his cell by Noel and another officer.
August 9, by or before 10 p.m.: All inmates are locked in their cells for the night.
August 9, 10 p.m.: Noel and an unnamed “Officer-2” do not perform the required 10 p.m. institutional count, internal video shows. They compete and sign a count slip falsely saying they did.
August 9, 10:30 p.m.: Noel briefly walks up to and walks back from the door to the tier in which Epstein was housed, internal video shows. This is the last time anyone walks up to the entrance to the area where Epstein was held until around 6:30 a.m. the next day, the indictment said.
August 9, 10:36 p.m.: Based on the falsified count slip, the Control Center clears the 10 p.m. count.
August 10, 12 a.m.: Michael Thomas, a 41-year-old officer at MCC, begins an eight-hour shift on duty in the SHU. Thomas has been employed as a correctional officer at MCC since about 2007. In 2013, he was assigned to work as a materials handler supervisor but still regularly worked overtime shifts as a correctional officer.
Thomas and Noel, the only two correctional officers on duty, do not perform the required 12 a.m. count, internal video shows. They complete and sign a count slip falsely saying they did.
August 10, 12:49 a.m.: Based on the falsified count slip, the Control Center clears the 12 a.m. count.
August 10, 12 a.m. to 6:30 a.m.: Noel and Thomas fail to complete any of the required 30-minute rounds in the SHU, authorities say. Noel completes and signs more than 75 separate 30-minute round entries falsely saying they conducted the rounds.
Noel and Thomas, seated at the officers’ desk area, use the computers and move around the SHU common area. For about two hours, Noel and Thomas sit at their desk without moving and appear to be asleep, the indictment says. Noel uses the computer periodically, including to search the internet for furniture sales and benefit websites. Thomas uses the computer briefly at 1 a.m., 4 a.m. and 6 a.m. to search motorcycle sales and sports news, according to the indictment.
August 10, 3 a.m.: Noel and Thomas do not make the required 3 a.m. count, internal video shows. They complete and sign a count slip falsely saying they did.
August 10, 3:24 a.m.: Based on the falsified count slip, the Control Center clears the 3 a.m. count.
August 10, 4 a.m.: The overnight supervisor visits Noel and Thomas in the SHU and confers with them before leaving.
August 10, 5 a.m.: Noel and Thomas do not make the required 5 a.m. count, internal video shows. They complete and sign a count slip falsely saying they did.
August 10, 5:30 a.m.: Based on the falsified count slip, the Control Center clears the 5 a.m. count.
August 10, 5:30 a.m.: Another correctional officer briefly walks through the SHU common area. Video surveillance shows no one else entered the SHU, no one conducted any counts or rounds throughout the night and no one entered the tier where Epstein was housed.
August 10, shortly after 6 a.m.: Noel and Thomas receive a delivery of breakfast carts into the SHU.
August 10, 6:30 a.m.: Noel and Thomas walk up to and enter the tier in which Epstein was housed to serve breakfast.
August 10, 6:33 a.m.: An alarm is activated in the SHU. Epstein is alone in his cell and not responsive, with a noose around his neck.
An unnamed “Supervisor-1” who had just started his shift responds to the alarm almost immediately. Noel approaches the door to the SHU to open it for Supervisor-1 and says “Epstein hung himself,” the indictment said. Afterward, Noel tells Supervisor-1, “We did not complete the 3 a.m. nor 5 a.m. rounds.” Thomas says, “We messed up” and “I messed up, she’s not to blame, we didn’t do any rounds,” according to the indictment.
August 10, morning: Epstein is taken to a hospital, where he is pronounced dead of an apparent suicide, the Bureau of Prisons says.
CNN’s Erica Orden contributed to this report.