A man convicted of arson of his $3.5 million Valley mansion took cyanide in a court room shortly after being convicted in a Phoenix court, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday.
A can of cyanide, meant for mining purposes, was found in Michael Marin’s vehicle after his courtroom suicide.
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said Marin purchased the cyanide in 2009 from a California company for Marin’s preplanned suicide.
“On the evening of [Marin’s] death, his adult son received a delayed email from Michael Marin, telling him that if things don’t go good in court, Marin’s wills are in place and his car could be found parked in a Mesa location,” said Arpaio.
Despite the death of Marin, Arpaio said the court duties of his deputies will not change.
“We’re not in charge of the courtroom,” he said. “We’re not in charge of the searching when they come into the courtroom through metal detectors. We’re in charge once that suspect is turned over to our custody in our jails.”
The investigation has been turned over to the Maricopa County Medical Examiner’s Office.
A Maricopa County Superior Court jury found Marin, 53, guilty of arson of an occupied structure. He collapsed in court immediately after the verdict was read.
Marin was transported to a hospital and died shortly after.
Judge Bruce Cohen, who ruled in the case, ordered that no video footage be shown of Marin’s medical treatment.
Prosecutors said Marin would have faced up to nearly 16 years in prison if he was convicted.
Marin’s mansion burned down in July 2009. He told authorities he escaped the blaze by climbing down a rope ladder while wearing a scuba tank and diving mask to protect himself from the smoke.
Phoenix Fire Department investigators called it arson. Prosecutors claimed Marin, a former Wall Street trader, set fire to his house because he could no longer pay the mortgage.
Watch a video of Marin ingesting the cyanide from 3TV:
KTAR’s Martha Maurer contributed to this report.
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