US Attorney General William Barr on Monday announced he had fired the acting director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons Hugh Hurwitz about a week after Jeffrey Epstein died while in federal custody at the Metropolitan Correctional Center.
Dr. Kathleen Hawk Sawyer, who previously occupied the role between 1992 and 2003, will take over as the new director, reported The Hill
Last week Bill Barr addressed the ongoing investigation into pedophile financier Jeffrey Epstein’s death at a press conference.
“We are now learning of serious irregularities at this facility that are deeply concerning and demand a thorough investigation,” Barr said.
“There will be accountability,” Barr asserted.
Last week Barr also reassigned the prison warden and put two others on administrative leave.
The New York City medical examiner on Friday ruled Epstein’s death a suicide.
The medical examiner’s office said in a statement Friday that an autopsy and other evidence confirms the 66-year-old financier hanged himself in his cell at a federal jail, Bloomberg reported.
Epstein was found hanging in his cell from his bunk bed with a prison bedsheet wrapped around his head, according to a law enforcement source who spoke to the New York Post.
Epstein, who is 6 feet tall, reportedly secured the bedsheet to the top bunk bed and wrapped the sheet around his neck.
Many close to Epstein fear he was murdered and CBS News, citing an unnamed source, also reported on Tuesday that “shrieking and shouting” was heard coming from Epstein’s cell on the morning of his death. The source also said they heard corrections officers saying “breathe, Epstein, breathe,” while trying to revive him.
Epstein had several broken bones in his neck which is common in homicide by strangulation.
Among the broken bones in Epstein’s neck was the hyoid bone which can be broken during a hanging if the individual is older, however it is more common in a homicide by strangulation, according to forensics experts.
Top forensic pathologist Dr. Cyril Wecht said only 1% of hanging deaths resulted in broken hyoid bones.
Epstein was the highest profile prisoner in the US system and there is a long list of inconsistencies in prison policy surrounding Epstein’s death while he was in federal custody at the MCC.