Man Who Shared Jail Cell with Epstein Convicted of Murder
A former New York police officer who was the cellmate of Jeffrey Epstein at the time of the infamous sexual predator’s death in a prison cell in 2019 has been convicted of four murders.
According to The Associated Press, Nicholas Tartaglione was convicted Thursday in the 2016 murders of four illegal immigrants in Otisville, New York, about 70 miles north of New York City.
Tartaglione killed one man by strangling him with a zip tie, and the other murders were described as having been carried out execution-style, authorities said.
In December 2016, the former Briarcliff Manor, New York, police officer was charged in the murders of Martin Luna, Urbano Santiago, Miguel Luna and Hector Gutierrez.
Damian Williams, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, said in a statement Thursday that Tartaglione suspected the four men had stolen money from his drug business.
He planned their April 2016 killings with the help of two associates, Williams said.
The prosecutor said Luna was lured into a meeting with Tartaglione, a cocaine dealer, who strangled him to death with the zip tie.
Luna’s body was then transported to a rural property rented by the former cop, as were those of the other victims.
Two associates of Tartaglione shot two of the remaining victims in the back of the head while the former cop shot another one of the men.
The hands of all four men were bound behind their backs, and they were buried together in a mass grave.
Williams said the crimes can “only be described as pure terror.”
“Tartaglione’s heinous acts represent a broader betrayal, as he was a former police officer who once swore to protect the very community he devastated,” the prosecutor said.
BREAKING NEWS: Ex-Briarcliff Manor police officer Nicholas Tartaglione found guilty on all counts in quadruple murder and conspiracy case.https://t.co/Om9MJjJVz3
— News12WC (@News12WC) April 6, 2023
An attorney for Tartaglione said in a comment obtained by The New York Times his client is innocent and prosecutors “don’t have an accurate picture of who did what” during the killings.
The former cop and bodybuilder faces life in prison for the murders.
At the time Tartaglione was charged, then-Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara called the crimes an affront to all of society.
“While all murders tear at the fabric of our communities, when the alleged perpetrator of a gangland-style, quadruple homicide is a former police officer, that strikes at the heart of civilized society,” Bharara said in a statement.
Tartaglione came to national prominence in 2019 because he was Epstein’s cellmate at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York City at the time of the convicted sex offender’s death.
Epstein was found dead with a bedsheet strip around his neck on Aug. 10, 2019. The death was ruled a suicide.
Targalione was not in the cell at the time of the death, and Epstein was not being monitored by guards.
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