Arsonist dies in courtroom after guilty verdict read (VIDEO)


Michael Marin is seen putting something in his mouth while his guilty verdict is read moment before he collapsed and died in the courtroom.


ABC News

Arizona millionaire Michael Marin died in a courtroom minutes after his guilty verdict was read and appearing to have put something in his mouth.

Marin, 53, was convicted on Thursday of burning down his $2.55 million mansion in Phoenix's Biltmore Estates neighborhood after he was unable to make his mortgage payments and a plan to raffle the house through a charity fundraiser failed, according to ABC World News. He faced up to 16 years in prison.

During the fire, Marin escaped from the second floor of his mansion using a rope ladder and wearing a scuba-diving suit, reported Fox News. Firefighters found several distinct points of origin when they investigated the incident.

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Video of the sentencing shot by a journalist covering the trial showed Marin putting something in his mouth minutes before he collapsed, according to Reuters.

"There is speculation that he apparently grabbed something and drank it right beforehand, but that's pure speculation at this point," Captain Brian Lee told Reuters. When asked if suicide by poisoning was still being investigated as a cause of death, Lee said: "Yes." He added that a medical examiner would launch a full investigation because of the "suspicious circumstance" surrounding Marin's death.

Marin was a lawyer with a degree from Yale and made his millions trading on Wall Street, reported UPI. He spent his money with disregard, buying Picasso sketches and climbing Mount Everest.