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Convicted child rapist guzzles poison as verdict read in Texas court

Edward Leclair was convicted on five counts of child sexual assault and guzzled a mysterious liquid as each "guilty" verdict was read.

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Joshua Young Youngsville North Carolina
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Edward Leclair, a convicted child rapist, died on Thursday after guzzling a mysterious liquid while his guilty verdict was being read in a Denton, Texas court.

The Washington Post reports that Leclair was convicted on five counts of child sexual assault and, in the courtroom, quaffed from a water bottle while "guilty" after "guilty" count was read in succession.

Leclair's lawyer, Mike Howard, said, "I looked over and noticed him drinking. His hand was shaking. At the time, I thought it was shaking because of the verdict. Then he kept drinking and drinking."

Howard said Leclair faced a very stern sentence of up to 100 years. The child rapist had been free on bond before the verdict but was escorted to a holding cell after he was deemed guilty.

According to CNN, Denton County Assistant District Attorney Jamie Beck, said the drink looked "cloudy," and "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."

Defense Attorney Howard said Leclair started vomiting "shortly after entering the holdover cell," and that emergency services were called.

The Denton Record-Chronicle reported that Leclair was charged with raping a 14-year-old girl in 2016. The child had posted a personal ad on Criaglist and solicited the meeting but said Leclair raped her when they met and drove to a nearby hotel. Two years later the girl's mother called police on Leclair and he was arrested. His trial began on August 8 and he was out on a $30,000 bond.

DA Beck said, "He was very much either dying or dead," when the bailiff found him and now the Texas Rangers are investigating this "in-custody death." Tarrant County Medical Examiner forensic  pathologists are performing an autopsy.

The Jurors were informed of Leclair's death on Friday and the judge told them it was not their fault.

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