Former Hudson Valley police officer Nicholas Tartaglione, who is facing the death penalty after being implicated in a quadruple homicide, is alleging that guards have been threatening him since the death of billionaire financier Jeffrey Epstein, his former cellmate, according to his attornies.
The lawyers for Tartaglione, who briefly shared a cell with Epstein at the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) in Manhattan, is claiming that top guards at the prison have told him to “shut up,” “stop talking” and “stop complaining,” as questions swirled about how the accused sex trafficker was able to commit suicide in federal custody, according to multiple reports.
Tartaglione is reportedly seeking a transfer out of the MCC following the alleged threats from guards.
Epstein was found dead in his cell on Saturday, Aug. 10, despite being on a "special observation" at the MCC. Epstein's special observation required frequent checks by guards and a cellmate at all times, conditions which reportedly not followed.
Shortly before his death, Epstein was briefly cellmates with Tartaglione, a former police officer n Briarcliff Manor, Mount Vernon, Yonkers, and Pawling - who was later questioned in connection to a potential assault of the 66-year-old Epstein several weeks before his death.
According to an autopsy, Epstein died from a broken bone in his neck, which is common in victims who die from hanging or strangulation.
“The clear message Mr. Tartaglione has received is that if he conveys information about the facility or about [Epstein’s] recent suicide, there will be a price to pay,” an attorney for Tartaglione reportedly wrote in a letter to the judge.
“Whether or not the investigators into the suicide chose to interview Mr. Tartaglione about the attempted suicide to which he was witness or about how the facility is run and the conditions under which the inmates are forced to live, the correction officers know he has information potentially very damaging to the very people now charged with guarding him or their coworkers.”
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 in Briarcliff Manor.
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." Tiffany sued the village of Briarcliff Manor multiple times, claiming that Tartaglione assaulted him.
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