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Edward Leclair died after drinking cloudy liquid as a jury convicted him on child assault charges

BY Anas Shah Aug 16, 2022. 04:13 pm UPDATED: Aug 18, 2022. 08:11 pm

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As a jury found him guilty on five charges of child sexual assault, a Texas man died after ingesting a murky beverage.

Edward Leclair, according to the authorities, was discovered unconscious in a holding cell close to the courtroom after being witnessed sipping from the plastic water bottle while seated with his attorneys in Denton County.

“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, started consuming alcohol from the bottle as soon as the jury rendered its guilty decision, which carried a 100-year maximum term.

“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.

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“We weren’t looking for that. Frankly, no one was looking for that.”

Leclair was pronounced dead at the Medical City Denton hospital at 3:21 PM on Thursday, according to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office.

To ascertain the cause of death, an autopsy will be performed.

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