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Friday, June 29, 2012

Michael Marin DIED in court after 'taking pill' as he was found guilty of torching his $3million home

PHOENIX - Did this convicted arsonist poison himself in court? Michael Marin appeared to have swallowed something after hearing the guilty verdict.

Minutes later, he collapsed and died.

This was already a bizarre case even before the drama in the court room.

Michael Marin set his Biltmore mansion on fire because he couldn't afford the mortgage. He was found outside of the burning mansion -- he escaped a second floor bedroom wearing scuba gear.

Michael Marin entered the courtroom at 12:43 Thursday afternoon. The only thing he appeared to have in his hands is a drink bottle. He took a drink before sitting at the defendant's table.

Two minutes later, Marin heard the jury's verdict.

"We the jury, duly impaneled and sworn in the above entitled action upon our oath, do find the defendant Michael James Marin guilty of arson of an occupied structure."

Marin dropped his head into his hands in despair. He then slid his hands up and appeared to place something in his mouth.

He then sat back. Nothing seems out of the ordinary at this point. The court proceedings go on.

About 5 minutes later, he placed that drink bottle on the table. Once again buried his face in his hands, and for a second time appeared to place something else into his mouth.

A closer look shows he swallowed several times.

At 12:52, Marin took a final drink. A few seconds later, he turned to talk to the people sitting behind him.

A woman handed him tissue, and it's a downward spiral from there.

He began to convulse at first lightly. But quickly it grows more violent. His attorneys called for help.

Marin hunched over, slowly collapsing to the ground as others rushed in to help. Someone asked for someone to call 911 and several people ran to help him.

About 10 minutes later, cell phone video captured paramedics wheeling Marin into an ambulance. He was later declared dead.

From the video from inside the courtroom, it looks like a suicide, that Marin put some toxic substance into his mouth.

"They are leaning towards that obviously if you watch the video it looks like he does put something in his mouth," said MCSO spokesman Jeff Sprong.

"We cannot verify that at this point and we're not going to be able to until the toxicology report comes back."

That won't be for two weeks, so what happens in the meantime?

"We're going to look at everything he had on him just because it looks like he's putting something in his mouth we don't know really what he did prior to that. He could do that to make us think he was taking something and he wasn't and he did something else."

Detectives also will talk to anyone close to Marin including attorneys, family members or friends who might know something, anything about what happened in that courtroom this afternoon.

"We will obviously contact family to see if this is something he hinted at doing, maybe he left a note you know, it just needs to be thoroughly investigated then hopefully we'll find out why he did it and what he did," said Sprong.

"This is something new that I've never seen and I'm sure the courts haven't seen it, I'm sure they'll do everything they can do to ensure it doesn't happen again."

He faced up to nearly 16 years in prison if he was convicted.

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