A Missouri man found guilty of sodomizing a 14-year-old girl was sentenced to seven years in prison. Just after the verdict was read, 48-year-old Steve Parsons took a cyanide capsule and collapsed in the court room.
Parsons was found guilty of two felony counts after his victim appeared in court to testify. After the verdict was read Thursday, Parsons began convulsing and died shortly thereafter. He allegedly ordered 100 milligrams of cyanide online last week and had it shipped overnight.
Parsons, who was from Maryville, was well known to the courts. FOX4KC reported he had pages of civil suits, criminal charges, probation violations and traffic tickets.
"I can't speculate on what he was going through but I am firmly convinced that his death was not a result of a wrongful verdict by the jury," Gentry County Prosecutor Jerry Biggs told FOX4KC.
Nodaway County Sheriff Darren White, who discovered the cyanide purchase after Parsons’ death, said he believe Parsons entered the courtroom with the capsule already placed in his mouth. It was not detected by courthouse security. A full autopsy report on Parsons is expected later this week.
Biggs said he was "quite surprised and disappointed and unhappy and sorry. Sorry for the victim. Sorry for her family."
“This was a girl who had been wronged and was determined and brave enough to make things right,” Biggs said. He referred to the incident as a no-win situation. “I suspect that it’s just more tragedy on top of tragedy.”
Last year, a multi-millionaire in Arizona killed himself in court with a cyanide capsule after being found guilty of arson. Michael Marin, 53, was convicted of burning down his $3.5 million mansion in June 2012.