A former English teacher at an Alabama high school killed herself with a shotgun two days after she was arrested for allegedly having sex with two students. Leslie Gillespie, 44, was found dead in her home in Hillsboro at around 11.30am on Saturday after she turned the shotgun on herself, according to authorities.
Gillespie as arrested on Thursday on charges of rape and sodomy of two students at R.A. Hubbard High School who were 15 and 16 at the time, according to AL.com. Police have launched an investigation although they confirm that Gillespie died by suicide. An autopsy is reportedly pending.
Police believe that Gillespie committed suicide after she was arrested for sex with and rape of two minor students of the R.A. Hubbard High School. "It appears to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound," Lawrence County coroner Scott Norwood told the news outlet.
An autopsy on Gillespie's body was scheduled to take place at the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences. The apparent suicide took place just a day after authorities announced criminal charges against Gillespie for allegedly having sex with two students.
Following her arrest, the English teacher was out on $60,000 bail. One teen had claimed he and another student visited Gillespie in her classroom after school for the salacious acts, according to court records obtained by WAFF 48. She had met the students in class in September 2020, reports said.
She was booked into Lawrence County jail and charged with two counts of school employee engaging in a sex act with a student younger than 19 and one count each of second-degree rape and second-degree sodomy.
Escaping Prison Time
After her arrest, the superintendent of Lawrence County school issued a statement saying he was aware an employee had been arrested. "While the district cannot provide any specific details at this time, we want to emphasize that there is nothing more important to Lawrence County Schools than the safety and well-being of our students," Superintendent Jon Bret Smith said, according to WAFF.
"The district will work diligently and expediently to resolve the situation," the statement read.
Gillespie had also been charged with two counts of being a school employee engaging in sex with a student. It was evident that she would be convicted and was about to face a jail term but before that she died by suicide.
That said, Gillespie was a popular among her student and in 2019 she was also named the high school's teacher of the year. It is still not known if there was any other reason behind her decision to commit suicide. Police have launched an investigation but are yet to reveal anything. Her family members too haven't made any comments yet.