Edward Leclair had faced maximum prison sentence of 100 years in Denton County
A Texas man died after drinking a bottle of cloudy liquid as a jury convicted him of five counts of child sexual assault.
Authorities say that Edward Leclair was seen drinking from the plastic water bottle as he sat with his lawyers in Denton County, and was then found unconscious in a holding cell near the courtroom.
“As these verdicts were being read, he chugged a bottle of water he had at counsel table,” Denton County Assistant District Attorney Jamie Beck told CNN.
“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.”
Leclair, 57, began drinking from the bottle as the jury returned the guilty verdict, which carried a maximum prison sentence of 100 years.
“I looked over and noticed him drinking,” Howard said. “His hand was shaking. At the time, I thought it was shaking because of the verdict. Then he kept drinking and drinking,” defence lawyer Mike Howard told NBC News.
And 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 bottle.
“We weren’t looking for that. Frankly, no one was looking for that.”
The Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office says that Leclair was pronounced dead at the Medical City Denton hospital at 3.21 p.m. Thursday.
An autopsy will be carried out to determine the cause of death,