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HomeNewsEdward Leclair: Paedophile takes his own life in court

Edward Leclair: Paedophile takes his own life in court

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A paedophile who died inside a courtroom in Texas last year drank a toxic substance, according to the local medical examiner’s office that ruled his death a suicide.

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 New York Post reported.

The Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s office told on Tuesday that Leclair died by suicide via the toxic effects.

Denton County Assistant District Attorney Jamie Beck told CNN at the time that an investigator observed Leclair chug the liquid before he was led away.

Beck told WFAA 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 defence 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 7am, The New York Times reported.

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 he realised he could be facing up to 100 years in prison, “he made the decision to do what he did at the last moment”.

“Had he waited another 30 seconds, he would have been in sheriff’s custody and not had access to that bottled water,” Howard said. “He wouldn’t have been able to. So, you know, I think he knew.”

This story was originally published by the New York Post and was reproduced with permission

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