A man died in the wake of drinking a container of cloudy fluid as a jury sentenced him to five counts of child sexual assault.
Specialists say that Edward Leclair was seen drinking from the plastic water bottle as he sat with his legal counselors in Denton County, and was then found unresponsive in a holding cell close to the court. Up until this point, Leclair was on trial in Denton, Texas where he had been free on bond until the verdict came back last Thursday where he was found guilty.
The capture and arrest of Leclair occurred back in 2018 when he had a $30,000 bond, but as Judge Lee Gabriel, who was sitting in for Judge Sherry Shipman began to read the verdict to Leclair, it seemed as if he began to get nervous and that is when he began chugging the cloudy water mixture. Judge Gabriel also noted that Leclair before this point hadn’t taken a drink out of his water bottle.
Gabriel later had Leclair taken back into custody and sent to a holding cell which Beck said is standard procedure. After that, the jury was escorted out of the courtroom so some paperwork could be taken care of.
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It was then that one of the investigators in the courtroom told a bailiff that he should go check on Leclair because of the unusual way he drank the water.
“As these verdicts were being read, he chugged a bottle of water he had at the counsel table. Our investigator noticed him chug the water. He told the bailiff he might want to go check on him. The bailiff did. He was unconscious in the holding cell,” Denton County Assistant District Attorney Jamie Beck said.
Leclair, 57 a previous Navy repairman and corporate recruiter representative was indicted in 2020 on five counts of sexual assault on an individual between the ages of 14 and 17. He tried to squirm his way out of it and pleaded not guilty on all charges. However, the jury viewed him to be guilty and he faced the maximum prison sentence of 100 years.
“I looked over and noticed him drinking. His hand was shaking. At the time, I thought it was shaking because of the verdict. Then he kept drinking and drinking,” defense lawyer Mike Howard said in a statement.
Furthermore, he added: “Shortly after entering the holdover cell, he started vomiting, and emergency services were called.”
Mr. Howard added that he never saw Leclair put anything in the container.
“We weren’t looking for that. Frankly, no one was looking for that,” he said.
A medical team rushed in to try and revive Leclair but was unsuccessful in doing so. The Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office says that Leclair was articulated dead at the Medical City Denton emergency clinic at 3.21 p.m. Thursday.
The clinical inspector’s office is performing a post-mortem examination on Monday to decide the reason for death, however, it very well may be a long time before the toxicology report is finished and the results are released.
This story syndicated with permission from For the Love of News
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