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Man convicted of child sexual abuse dies after prosecutor says he ‘chugged’ liquid in court as verdict was being read

<i>Frisco Police Department</i><br/>Edward Leclair died Thursday
Frisco Police Department
Frisco Police Department
Edward Leclair died Thursday

By Andy Rose, CNN

A Texas man died Thursday shortly after being convicted of child sexual abuse. The prosecutor said Edward Leclair was seen drinking a bottle of liquid before having a medical emergency.

“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 Friday. Leclair was facing five counts of child sexual abuse relating to the same victim, Beck said, and had been free on bond until the verdict.

“Our investigator noticed him chug the water,” Beck said, saying it appeared cloudy. “He told the bailiff he might want to go check on him. The bailiff did. He was unconscious in the holding cell,” according to Beck.

“Shortly after entering the holdover cell, he started vomiting, and emergency services were called,” Leclair’s defense attorney, Mike Howard, told CNN Friday.

Howard said his client had taken a “long drink from a water bottle” while listening to the verdict, but he did not know what was in the bottle.

Beck said “medical intervention” took place in the courthouse before Leclair was taken away by ambulance.

Preliminary records from the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office say that Leclair was pronounced dead at the Medical City Denton hospital at 3:21 p.m. Thursday. An autopsy has been ordered, and the cause of death is listed as pending.

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