Posted Jul 02, 2013 05:10 pm CDT
Convicted of a sex crime and facing a possible maximum prison sentence of seven years, a Missouri man took cyanide in court and died minutes after the verdict was announced last week.
Steve Parsons, 48, was the well-known owner of a St. Joseph, Mo., area tire shop, but also had a lengthy court record including traffic tickets, civil suits, some criminal charges and probation violations and a protective order, according to Fox 4 News and KCTV.
Officials say they think Parsons had the pill in his mouth when he entered the courtroom, and apparently activated it when he took a drink from a cup of water after the verdict was read. A search of his home and car showed that he had recently ordered a shipment of cyanide.
He was convicted in Nodaway County, after a change of venue, in a 2011 felony case filed in Gentry County for allegedly having sex with a 14-year-old girl.
“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,” said Jerome Y. “Jerry” Biggs, who serves as the chief prosecutor for Gentry County.
The articles don’t include any comment from Parsons’ counsel.
Hat tip: Daily Mail.
ABAJournal.com: “Lawyer Took Cyanide After Arson Verdict, Then Collapsed and Died, Medical Examiner Says”