Arsonist Drops Dead After Guilty Verdict

Speculation swirls that he killed himself
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 29, 2012 9:12 AM CDT

An Arizona man collapsed in court yesterday, minutes after a jury pronounced him guilty of arson—and many are speculating that he poisoned himself. Courtroom video appears to show defendant Michael Marin swallow something just after the verdict is read, My Fox Phoenix reports. Several minutes pass uneventfully, and then he appears to take another covert swallow. Then he starts convulsing and collapses.

An ambulance whisked Marin away, but he was later pronounced dead. The official cause of death isn't yet known. The sheriff's office says it's waiting on a toxicology report, but that's two weeks out. Until then "we're going to look at everything he had on him," a spokesman said, adding that Marin might have been trying "to make us think he was taking something and he wasn't and he did something else." Marin, who was convicted of burning down his own mansion because he couldn't pay the mortgage, faced up to 16 years in prison. (More Arizona stories.)

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