DENTON COUNTY, Texas (TCD) -- A 57-year-old man died after he reportedly chugged a cloudy liquid as a guilty verdict was being read convicting him of child sexual assault.
In a statement, the Denton County Sheriff’s Office announced a jury found Edward Leclair guilty on Aug. 11 of five counts of sexual assault of a child. Judge Lee Gabriel ordered LeClair be taken into custody, and as he was brought into a holding cell, he "collapsed." Deputies and EMS officials responded and transported him to Medical City Denton, where he died.
According to WFAA-TV, LeClair’s sudden death was likely brought on when he took several large drinks from a bottle of water on the table.
Jamie Beck, First Assistant Denton County District Attorney, told WFAA the jury came back in from deliberating and handed the verdict to the judge, who then started reading the decision.
Beck said, "It’s during this process that he had a bottle of water with him at the counsel table, and he chugged it. It wasn’t like he was just taking sips of water. He was literally throwing it back, so to speak."
Leclair had reportedly not taken a drink from the bottle prior to the verdict.
Beck told the newspaper, "He was very much either dying or dead. Once the ambulance came, they weren’t in a hurry. He was gray."
Leclair’s defense attorney, Mike Howard, echoed that description. He said, "After EMS transported him, I saw him being taken out on the gurney. 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."
The water bottle was reportedly taken as evidence.