US

Man Chugs Cloudy Drink In Court, Dies After Judge Reads Guilty Verdict For Child Rape

REUTERS/Gary Cameron

Daily Caller News Foundation logo
Laurel Duggan Social Issues and Culture Reporter
Font Size:

Edward Leclair, a 57-year-old Texas man, died after chugging a plastic water bottle filled with cloudy liquid as a judge read out his multiple guilty verdicts for sex crimes Thursday, according to The Washington Post.

Leclair was found guilty of five counts of child sexual assault on a person aged 14 to 17, and he began drinking the mysterious substance in court as the guilty verdicts were announced, according to The Washington Post. He threw up and was escorted to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead within 45 minutes, according to NBC News.

Leclair, a corporate recruiter and former Navy mechanic, was charged with raping a 14-year-old girl in 2016 after finding an ad she had posted on Craigslist, according to The Washington Post. He gave her $200, the child later sent Leclair a nude photograph and Leclair continued to meet with the girl and sexually abuse her even after she told him she was 14. (RELATED: Police Say Thieves Crashed Car Into Luxury Store In Ritzy Town, Fleeing Before Police Arrive)

“I looked over and noticed him drinking,” Leclair’s lawyer Mike Howard told NBC. “His hand was shaking. At the time, I thought it was shaking because of the verdict. Then he kept drinking and drinking.”

After he drank the substance, which has not been identified, Leclair was escorted to a waiting cell where Howard said he looked despondent, according to NBC. A bailiff soon announced to the courtroom that Leclair was throwing up, prompting him to be removed in a gurney and taken to the hospital where he was quickly pronounced dead.

Leclair’s sentence could have ranged from probation to 100 years, according to Howard, who acknowledged that a strict punishment was possible given the seriousness of the charges, according to NBC.

Howard did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.