Hudson Valley Cop Accused of Murder Complains of Cell Conditions
A former Hudson Valley police officer accused of the gruesome murder of four local men is allegedly dealing with awful jail conditions.
Nicholas Tartaglione was a cop in Pawling, Mount Vernon, Yonkers and Briarcliff Manor who's accused of killing four Hudson Valley men in 2016.
No trial date has been set. He faces the death penalty if convicted.
Tartaglione's lawyer, Bruce Barket, has asked for his client to be transferred from the Metropolitan Correctional Center to the Nassau County Correctional Center due to alleged awful prison cell conditions.
“He was put in a cell without the books and newspapers he was given on Thursday ... Worse, he was placed into a cell without a working toilet. He was given a bucket! He was told to use that until the toilet was repaired,” Barket said according to the New York Daily News.
Prosecutors say Tartaglione never complained about a broken toilet.
“MCC staff members reported to the MCC Warden that there is in fact a working toilet in the defendant’s cell. The staff members tested that toilet’s flushing ability and confirmed that the toilet does in fact flush, but noted that the flush appeared weak. In response, the MCC Warden called the institution’s on-call plumber to immediately service that toilet,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Maurene Comey wrote, the Daily News reports.
Martin Santos-Luna, 41, 25-year-old Miguel Sosa-Luna, Urbano Morales-Santiago, 35, and 32-year-old Hector Gutierrez, all of Middletown, were last seen on April 11, 2016, near the Chester Diner.
Their bodies were allegedly found months later on Otisville property owned by Tartaglione, in what police described as a "burial site."
Tartaglione lured Luna and three other men to an Orange County lounge where the ex-cop and others attacked, officials say.
Tartaglione is accused of hitting Luna repeatedly and killing him by placing a zip tie around Luna's neck. The other three men were shot in the head, police say.
Tartaglione once shared a cell with Jeffery Epstein. He claimed to have helped Epstein after finding him unconscious from what's believed to be a suicide hanging attempt.
Tartaglione was separated from Epstein before Epstein's death.
Following the 66-year-old's death, Tartaglione claims guards at the prison have told him "shut up,” “stop talking” and “stop complaining,” amid questions about how Epstein was able to kill himself in federal custody, Tartaglione's attorney said.
Tartaglione's attorney believes those reasons along with "deplorable” conditions — including “a serious rodent and insect infestation” are why his client should be moved to another prison cell.