A man who was convicted of having sex with a 14-year-old died after being sentenced for seven years in prison.
Steven Parsons pretended he was sick after he was sentenced and asked if he could get a drink of water. No one saw him slip anything in his mouth, but Parsons began having a seizure almost immediately after he drank the water.
Parsons, 48, went into cardiac arrest and was pronounced dead at Heartland Regional Medical Center.
His car was later searched, and it was there that police found a piece of paper with the name of a chemical company on it. When authorities called the company, they discovered that he had ordered 100mg of cyanide.
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"It's not common to see someone just fall over dead in the courtroom even though they've just been found guilty of a crime," Sheriff Darrin White said.
Jerry Biggs, a prosecutor, said he had mixed emotions.
"I can't speculate to what he was going through but I'm firmly convinced that his death was not a result of a wrongful verdict by the jury," Biggs said. "Well I was quite surprised and disappointed and unhappy and sorry. Sorry for the victim, sorry for her family."
He said the victim went through a lot during the trial.
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"This was a girl who had been wronged and was determined and brave enough to make things right," he said.
If Parsons were alive, he would have to serve seven years in prison and register as a sex offender.
He owned a well-known company called Parson's Tyre and Service.