Sex Offender Eats Cyanide After Guilty Verdict, Dies

Steve Parsons faced 7 years in prison
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 3, 2013 2:44 PM CDT
Sex Offender Eats Cyanide After Guilty Verdict, Dies

Just about one year after Michael Marin killed himself with a cyanide pill moments after being convicted of arson, a sex offender in Missouri has done the same. Steve Parsons, 48, had just been convicted of sodomizing a 14-year-old girl and sentenced to a maximum of seven years behind bars when he took the pill Thursday, the New York Daily News reports. He collapsed, started convulsing, and was dead of respiratory failure within minutes. He'd had 100 grams of cyanide shipped to himself overnight, Fox 4 reports, and he's thought to have actually walked into the courthouse with the pill in his mouth so it wouldn't be detected.

"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," says the prosecuting attorney. Parsons had a long rap sheet with violations ranging from traffic tickets to probation violations. Says the sheriff, who witnessed the incident, "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." The prosecutor adds that he's "quite surprised and disappointed and unhappy and sorry. Sorry for the victim, sorry for her family," and sorry for Parsons' family, who were in court when he died. (More Steve Parsons stories.)

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