By Jonathan Stempel
NEW YORK (Reuters) – A federal decide on Thursday delayed the scheduled trial of two Manhattan jail guards charged with masking up their failure to observe Jeffrey Epstein on the night time he killed himself.
Tova Noel and Michael Thomas now face a June 14, 2021 trial date, 5 months later than beforehand deliberate, after pleading not responsible final November to falsely certifying they performed inmate counts throughout Epstein’s ultimate hours.
At a listening to, U.S. District Choose Analisa Torres in Manhattan mentioned a delay would give the defendants and prosecutors extra time to debate a “doable disposition” of the case, which might contain pleas, and guarantee a courtroom could be accessible.
The Manhattan federal court docket has a backlog of trials due to the coronavirus pandemic, and plans to schedule instances which can be older or contain incarcerated defendants sooner.
Noel and Thomas are free on bail.
“The federal government has represented that they won’t be dismissing the case and Ms. Noel has no plans to enter a responsible plea,” Noel’s lawyer Jason Foy mentioned in an e-mail after the listening to.
A lawyer for Thomas didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.
Epstein, the financier and registered intercourse offender, died at age 66 on Aug. 10, 2019. He was discovered hanging in his cell on the Metropolitan Correctional Middle in downtown Manhattan.
Authorities had charged Epstein with trafficking in dozens of ladies and underage ladies. Some alleged victims have mentioned his abuses dated again to the Eighties.
Prosecutors have mentioned that within the hours earlier than Epstein’s dying, Noel shopped on-line for furnishings, Thomas surfed the web for sports activities information and motorbike gross sales, and each appeared to have fallen asleep for about two hours.
Epstein’s dying angered U.S. Lawyer Common William Barr, and prompted a administration overhaul on the Manhattan jail.
The case is U.S. v. Noel et al, U.S. District Courtroom, Southern District of New York, No. 19-cr-00830.
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