A former police officer in the area who is behind bars for his alleged role in a quadruple homicide may have been involved in a possible assault of billionaire financier and accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, according to NBC 4 New York.
Epstein, who is awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges, was found earlier this week semi-conscious with marks on his neck while he was being held in the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) in Manhattan, though “details remain murky.”
Investigators are reportedly looking into the possibility that Epstein attempted to hang himself, or that it might have been a ruse to be transferred.
According to WNBC, investigators spoke with Tartaglione, who is also being held at the same facility, and they are exploring the possibility that the 66-year-old Epstein may have been assaulted - though the former Briarcliff Manor police officer has denied any wrongdoing.
The 51-year-old Tartaglione’s attorney denied any claims of wrongdoing by his client and said that he and Epstein “get along well,” the report notes.
“They are in the same unit and doing well,” attorney Bruce Barket stated, noting that any claim that Tartaglione assaulted Epstein “is absolutely not true.”
WNBC reported that “Barket said Tartaglione and Epstein have been complaining about conditions inside the MCC including flooding, rodents, and bad food.” Epstein is now on suicide watch.
A spokesman at MCC said, “as with all inmates, for privacy and security reasons, we do not share information on an inmate's medical status or their conditions of confinement.”
Tartaglione is still facing the death penalty for his alleged role in murdering four men.
According to the initial indictment that was filed in White Plains Federal Court, Tartaglione killed Martin Luna, 41, Urbano Santiago, 32, Miguel Luna, 25, and Hector Gutierrez, 43, at the Likquid Lounge - a bar that his brother reportedly managed for a time in the town of Chester in Orange County - when a cocaine deal went badly involving at least one of the victims.
Prosecutors had argued that Tartaglione killed Luna as part of a drug transaction, leaving his other three victims with his cohorts. The new indictment charges that Tartaglione “intentionally and knowingly killed, and counseled, commanded, induced, procured, and caused the intentional killing” of Luna at the bar and that the other three men were then taken to Otisville and killed there.
It is further alleged that Tartaglione then drove with the bodies for approximately a half-hour from the bar in Chester to his farm in Otisville, also in Orange. Four bodies would be removed from his property the day after he was arrested.
According to court papers, in 1999, Tartaglione was charged with perjury and official misconduct after testifying in court at a DMV license revocation hearing for a friend. Tartaglione was ultimately acquitted at trial, but fired by the village. He is also a former police officer in Mount Vernon, Yonkers and Pawling.
In 2003, he sued to get his job back and received more than $300,000 in back pay. He retired from the force in 2008 on disability with a reported annual pension of $65,000.
Tartaglione also had an ongoing legal battle with the late Clay Tiffany, an Ossining resident who hosted the popular public-access TV show, “Dirge For The Charlatans,” sued the village of Briarcliff Manor multiple times, claiming that Tartaglione assaulted him.
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