Jeffrey Epstein prison guard's lawyer 'highly likely' to seek dismissal of client's charges

A lawyer for one of the two guards on duty when disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein killed himself argued Thursday that it was "highly likely" he would seek to dismiss criminal charges against his client on the grounds that he was unfairly targeted and made a scapegoat for security lapses in the Manhattan detention center.

Montell Figgins, the lawyer for Michael Thomas, said his client and co-defendant Tova Noel were "selectively prosecuted" to cover up serious "inadequacies" of the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

"The death of a billionaire in the correctional system brings a lot of heat from people in high positions," Figgins told reporters following the hearing. "They want to make an example of these two people."

PRINCE ANDREW 'DID IDIOTIC THINGS' BUT 'HE'S NOT A PEDOPHILE' DESPITE JEFFREY EPSTEIN TIES, ROYAL COUSIN SAYS

He added that people in similar positions had not been treated the same.

"No one is on the hook expect these two people," Figgins said. "None of those people are in this case, and the question is why."

Thomas and Noel have pleaded not guilty to charges they falsely certified to conducting inmate checks during Epstein's final moments. Investigators said the two guards were sleeping and browsing the Internet during the two-hour period before Epstein's death.

Epstein, 66, killed himself in his New York City prison cell in August after he was arrested on sex trafficking charges. The billionaire had pleaded not guilty to sexually abusing girls as young as 11 and 12 in New York and Florida in the early 2000s.

JEFFREY EPSTEIN WAS ALONE IN PRISON CELL THE NIGHT OF HIS DEATH, FEDS SAY, CITING VIDEO

Thursday's hearing took an overly dramatic turn when U.S. District Judge Analisa Torres and Jason Foy, Noel's lawyer, got into a fiery exchange over a new trial date the judge had set at the request of lawyers representing both defendants.

Torres moved the trial date to June 22 from April 20.

The new date didn't sit well with Foy who said he would be in Italy on a family vacation, though he hadn't actually booked any travel plans yet.

The judge told him to use Skype if he had a problem, which led to an angry Foy responding, "No, no, no. I will not use Skype."

According to the New York Post, the back-and-forth between judge and lawyer escalated with Torres repeatedly warning Foy to "sit down" while Foy argued, "This is not just about vacation."

CLICK HERE FOR THE FOX NEWS APP

After Torres ordered Foy to sit down, he shot back, "And be heard from my seat?"

Foy eventually complied prompting Torres to say, "You are trying my patience, counsel."