A former Wall Street trader whose dramatic courtroom death was witnessed by millions on TV and the Internet probably committed suicide with a homemade cyanide pill.
USA Today reports that authorities had suspected that arson defendant Michael Marin committed suicide by ingesting poison after he collapsed in court June 28, moments after a jury found him guilty of burning down his Biltmore Estates mansion in 2009. That theory was bolstered this week when Maricopa County investigators discovered a canister of cyanide in Marin's car.
Television video from Marin's court hearing appeared to show him put something in his mouth immediately after the verdict was read. Seven minutes later, he went into convulsions and fell to the floor. Paramedics were unable to revive him.
According to Sheriff Joe Arpaio, one of Marin's family members received a delayed e-mail from Marin the evening after his death. It stated that if his court appearance went poorly he had prepared a last will and testament and that his car could be found parked in Mesa, Ariz.
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The New York Daily News reports that Marin, 53, was convicted on June 28 of torching his $3.5m mansion in Phoenix's tony Biltmore Estates neighborhood in 2009 because he couldn't keep up with the $17,000-a-month mortgage payments.
Firefighters found him outside the house in a scuba tank and mask, and Marin said he had escaped down an emergency ladder from a second floor window.