Big Find in Case of Arsonist Who Died After Conviction

Canister marked 'sodium cyanide' recovered from Michael Marin's car
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 11, 2012 11:09 AM CDT
Big Find in Case of Arsonist Who Died After Conviction
In this image taken from video provided by KTVK, 53-year-old Michael Marin is shown after he was found guilty of deliberately burning down his $3.5 mansion, June 29, 2012, in Phoenix.   (AP Photo/KTVK)

Michael Marin, the convicted arsonist who dropped dead minutes after his guilty verdict was read in a Phoenix courtroom, most likely took a homemade cyanide pill, say police. After his dramatic death, a member of Marin's family received a delayed email from the former Wall Street trader saying that, in the case of a bad court outcome, he had prepared a will and left his car in Mesa. Upon being informed of the email and searching the car Monday night, sheriff's investigators found a canister labeled "sodium cyanide" inside.

Marin apparently bought the coffee can-size container of the chemical online last year, according to Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Though investigators did not open it, it appeared to have a light powder inside; the Medical Examiner's Office is investigating. "All indications point to suicide, but until the (medical examiner's) final report, the investigation remains open," Arpaio says. A toxicologist who watched video of Marin's death speculates that cyanide was indeed involved, noting that most other quick-killing agents are gases, the Arizona Republic reports. (More suicide stories.)

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