A man on trial in Texas died Thursday after drinking from a large water bottle containing a cloudy liquid as a jury found him guilty of child sexual assault, officials said.
Edward Leclair, 57, was on trial in Denton, located about 40 miles (64 kilometers) northwest of Dallas, on five counts involving one victim. The Tarrant County medical examiner’s office doesn’t yet list his cause or manner of death. Leclair had been released on bond following his arrest.
Prosecutor Jamie Beck told the Denton Record-Chronicle that Leclair didn’t drink from the water bottle until the verdict was read, then he “just chugged it.”
After the verdict, Leclair was sent to a holding cell next to the courtroom as the timing of his punishment phase was discussed. Beck said that an investigator assigned to the courtroom had told the bailiff what Leclair had done and suggested he check on him.
Leclair’s attorney, Mike Howard, said sheriff’s deputies gave Leclair medical aid until EMS arrived.
“I saw him being taken out on the gurney,” Howard told the newspaper.” His color and pallor didn’t look good – gray – and then he was taken to the hospital. Beyond that, that’s all I can say.”
According to authorities, Leclair died at the hospital. The Texas Rangers are now investigating.