Warden at jail housing Ghislaine Maxwell charged with killing her husband

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An associate warden at the jail housing alleged sex trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell has been charged with fatally shooting her husband. 

Antonia Ashford, associate warden at the Metropolitan Detention Centre in Brooklyn, New York, was charged with murder and weapons possession after her husband was found dead by police in their New Jersey home. 

According to prosecutors, Ms Ashford pulled a gun on her husband and shot him in the face. Police found the man, Roderick Ashford, lying on the floor. He was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the Associated Press.. 

Mr Ashford was also a Bureau of Prisons employee. 

The jail – and the state's Bureau of Prisons – have become infamous for allegations of mismanagement and abuse. 

Those issues came to light in 2019 when Jeffrey Epstein, sex trafficker and financier to the ultra-wealthy, died by apparent suicide while being housed at the Metropolitan Correction Center in Manhattan. Three weeks prior to his death, Epstein was found unconscious in his cell with injuries to his neck. At the time, Epstein believed that he had been attacked by his cellmate, a body-builder ex-police officer facing the death penalty for federal murder and drug charges. 

After Epstein was placed on suicide watch, the man was moved out of the cell.    

The inmate denied ever having touched Epstein.

After the jail was criticised for letting Epstein die, the sex trafficker's longtime girlfriend and alleged pimp, Ms Maxwell, was also put on a restrictive suicide watch.

Ms Maxwell has complained that guards constantly wake her up with flashlights throughout the night and that sleep masks and earplugs do nothing to help block their intrusions. 

She has also complained that the facility has a horrible stench due to overflowing toilets and that she was being served "inedible" food and brown water. She claims she has lost hair and is under near constant surveillance. 

Ms Maxwell has strongly denied the accusations against her.

The jail has a rocky history even outside its association with Epstein and Ms Maxwell; in 2019, the Bureau of Prisons was criticised after offering an inadequate response to a week-long power failure during the winter that left inmates huddling for warmth in their cells. 

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