Paradise Valley man dies in court after being convicted

Jun 28, 2012, 3:31 PM | Updated: 4:31 pm
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PHOENIX — A Paradise Valley man, who collapsed after he was convicted of deliberately burning
down his $3.5 million mansion in 2009, has died.

A Maricopa County Superior Court jury on Thursday found Michael
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.

Video from 3 TV allegedly shows Marin putting something in his mouth and collapsing shortly after.

“We do know that he did ingest something in the courtroom,” said Jeff Sprong with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office. “When you go into the courts there, they do check you for weapons and all that, but there’s obviously going to be certain things — especially if it’s a small liquid that’s maybe on his body — that you can get through the metal detectors.”

Sprong said they are still investigating what substance Marin consumed.

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.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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Paradise Valley man dies in court after being convicted