Edward Leclair, a Texas man who was on trial for child sexual abuse, died under mysterious circumstances on Thursday shortly after hearing the court’s ruling.
According to CNN, Leclair was seen by Denton County Assistant District Attorney Jamie Beck chugging a bottle of what appeared to be cloudy water as his verdict was read.
Leclair, 57, had been found guilty.
“Our investigator noticed him chug the water,” Beck said. “He told the bailiff he might want to go check on him. The bailiff did. He was unconscious in the holding cell.”
Leclair’s lawyer Mike Howard also said he had noticed Leclair drinking, according to 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 said.
“Shortly after entering the holdover cell, he started vomiting, and emergency services were called,” Howard told CNN.
“He was very much either dying or dead,” Beck said, according to the Denton Record-Chronicle. “Once the ambulance came, they weren’t in a hurry. He was gray.”
Leclair was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital shortly afterward.
“We have had people who faint, have heart attacks and had a shooting, but never in my 27 years have we had something like this happen,” Beck added.
A Texas man died Thursday shortly after being convicted of child sexual abuse. The prosecutor said Edward Leclair was seen drinking a bottle of liquid before having a medical emergency. https://t.co/OcJdVhLIl1
— CNN (@CNN) August 13, 2022
Leclair was a former U.S. Navy mechanic and corporate recruiter. He was indicted two years ago on five counts of “sexual assault on a person between the age of 14 and 17,” according to NBC.
The incident, which involved one victim, occurred in 2016, the Record-Chronicle reported. Leclair was arrested in 2018.
He was free on $30,000 bond during his trial, pending the sentencing that would have followed.
Under Texas law, child sexual assault is a second-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years per count, meaning that with a conviction on all five counts, Leclair could’ve faced up to 100 years in prison.
The Daily Mail reported that the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office will be initiating an autopsy to determine the cause of Leclair’s death.
The Texas Rangers are reportedly investigating the matter and have taken in the bottle Leclair drank from as evidence.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.