DAILY CRIME – Edward Leclair, 57, was on trial in Denton, Texas, in August facing five counts of sexual abuse and as the guilty verdict was being read, he downed a water bottle filled with a cloudy liquid.
The Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office told the Daily Mail on Tuesday that Leclair died by suicide via the toxic effects of sodium nitrite.
Denton County Assistant District Attorney Jamie Beck told CNN at the time of Leclair’s death that an investigator observed Leclair chug the liquid before he was led away.
Beck told WFAA that while those in the courtroom thought his drink from the bottle was strange, they felt it was his way of dealing with the verdict.
When a bailiff was asked to check on Leclair, he was found unconscious in a holding cell.
“Shortly after entering the holdover cell, he started vomiting, and emergency services were called,” Leclair’s defense attorney Mike Howard said.
Howard said he saw Leclair take a “long drink from a water bottle” while listening to the verdict, but the attorney said he did not know what was in the bottle.
Leclair was taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Surveillance video from the Denton County courthouse shows Leclair purchasing the water bottle around 7 a.m., the New York Times reported.
“Amazon Suicide Kit”
While the jury deliberated for about three and a half hours, prosecutors believe Leclair slipped the chemicals into the water.
Howard told the Times that when Leclair realized he could be facing up to 100 years in prison, “he made the decision to do what he did at the last moment … ”