Convicted Child Molester Chugs From Bottle During Verdict


16th District Court of Denton County in Texas. | Image by Yahoo News, Google Maps

A Texas man died after being found guilty of five counts of child sexual abuse on Thursday, August 11. According to his attorney’s statement on Friday, he downed a bottle of clear liquid in the courtroom after the verdict. 

“I looked over and noticed him drinking,” Leclair’s attorney, Mike Howard, told NBCNews. “His hand was shaking. At the time, I thought it was shaking because of the verdict. Then he kept drinking and drinking.”

Edward Leclair, 57, started drinking from a clear liquid water bottle as the jury read the verdict. 

First Assistant Attorney Jamie Beck from the Denton County District Attorney’s Office told the Denton Record-Chronicle that the liquid appeared cloudy and that Leclair did not drink from the bottle during the proceedings. 

As the jury read their verdict, he “just chugged it,” said Beck. 

Leclair faced five counts of child sexual assault on one victim. The former Navy mechanic and corporate recruiter committed the offenses in July 2016. In July 2018, he was arrested for attempted sexual assault and given a $30,000 bond, which he posted.

Leclair’s attorney says the case deliberated for three and a half hours. He faced a possible sentence ranging from probation to 100 years.

Howard says Leclair was out on bond during the trial and only placed in custody after the verdict was read. He drank most of what was in the bottle before being taken to his cell to await sentencing. 

The bailiff alerted the court that Leclair was throwing up and needed medical attention. Leclair was placed on a gurney and transported to the hospital in an ambulance before being pronounced dead. The jury was dismissed.

The Tarrant County medical examiner’s office has not declared the cause of Leclair’s death. 

Howard described Leclair as “thoughtful” and “active” in his case. As for his client possibly committing suicide by poison, Howard says, “We weren’t looking for that. Frankly, no one was looking for that.”

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