A Texas sex offender has chugged a bottle of mystery liquid in the courtroom as a jury convicted him of five counts of child sexual assault and later died in the hospital.
The Texas sex offender identified as Edward Leclair, 57, was on trial in Denton, Texas. He had been free on bond until the verdict last Thursday.
As the jury returned a guilty verdict on the first count, the Texas sex offender Leclair began to drink from a plastic water bottle filled with liquid.
“I looked over and noticed him drinking,” his attorney, Mike Howard told NBC News. “His hand was shaking. At the time, I thought it was shaking because of the verdict. Then he kept drinking and drinking.”
Howard tells NBC that Leclair appeared “dejected and in shell shock all the things you would expect” as the verdict was being read.
Leclair’s strange actions caught the attention of several people in the courtroom.
“Our investigator noticed him chug the water,” Prosecutor Jamie Beck told CNN. “He told the bailiff he might want to go check on him. The bailiff did. He was unconscious in the holding cell.”
Medics unsuccessfully tried to revive Leclair. He was rushed to a nearby hospital where he was later pronounced dead.
Leclair, a former Navy mechanic and corporate recruiter, was charged in 2020 with five counts of sexual assault on a person between the age of 14 and 17. He pleaded not guilty on all charges, but the jury found him guilty. He faced up to 100 years in prison.
The medical examiner’s office is performing an autopsy on Monday to determine the cause of death, but it could be weeks before the toxicology report is completed.