WARNING: the following article contains discussion of sexual assault, suicide
In response to hearing a Denton, Texas jury confirm he was guilty of child sexual assault, 57-year-old Edward Leclair drank a mystery liquid from a refilled water bottle and died shortly thereafter.
Leclair had been charged with five counts of child sexual assault after repeated reports were filed of him pursuing minors between the ages of 14 and 17 for sex. He pleaded not guilty to these charges, but faced up to 100 years in prison if he was found guilty.
The jury decided he was guilty, after which Leclair produced the water bottle.
Leclair's attorney, Mike Howard, recalled:
"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."
"[He] appeared dejected and in shell shock, all the things you would expect [after a verdict like this]."
Leclair's chugging drew the attention of more people in the courtroom, even from the prosecutor's table.
Leclair was then escorted from the courtroom and back to his holding cell.
Prosecutor Jamie Beck shared.
"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 was discovered lying in his holding cell, gray in the face, and unconscious.
On the way to the hospital, medics unsuccessfully tried to revive him. Upon arriving at the hospital, Leclair was confirmed dead, likely from the mystery liquid contained in the refilled water bottle.
You can see local news coverage here:
After Leclair was discovered in his holding cell, the bottle of "water" was removed and taken into evidence so the liquid inside could be identified.
Leclair's autopsy was completed Sunday to determine his cause of death, but it will likely be delayed until the toxicology report is completed.
Upon hearing the news, Twitter was largely apathetic toward Leclair.
It's unclear at this time what was in the bottle.
The toxicology report may take multiple weeks to complete.
It's clear from Twitter, however, people had little sympathy to spare for Leclair.
If you or someone you know experienced sexual assault, help is out there. You can reach the RAINN National Sexual Assault Hotline by calling 1-800-656-4673, use their Live Chat tool: https://www.rainn.org/get-help, or visit the National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s website.
In Canada, help is available through the Ending Violence Association of Canada website.
International resources can be found through the Rape Crisis Network Europe website.