A former Wall Street banker collapsed and died Thursday after hearing the guilty verdict against him in an arson case. Moments before, he had cupped his hands to his mouth, leading some to believe that he may have taken a poison pill.
Michael Marin, 53, had just been found guilty of arson in a Phoenix courtroom. Apparently, he had set his Biltmore mansion ablaze in a desperate bid to get out of his mortgage, which he couldn’t afford. He was found outside his house wearing scuba gear, of all things. The verdict would have put him in jail for almost 16 years, notes NY Daily. Upon hearing the jury’s verdict, he covered his mouth with his hands – seemingly in shock – and quickly collapsed in court.
“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,” read the jury.
Marin dropped his head in anguish, then sliding his head up, cupping his hands over his mouth, and appearing to swallow something. He sat up, but continued the routine roughly 5 minutes later – closer inspection indicates that he swallows several times. He then leaned back, took a final sip from a water bottle, grabbed a tissue from a woman behind him, and began twitching, notes Fox.
He began to convulse violently, dropping to the floor and shaking wildly. Several people ran to his side to assist him. He was later shown being loaded into an ambulance, only to be declared dead.
Like we said, if you watch the courtroom video, it looks like he puts something in 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.”
Until then, “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.”
Then of course, “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.”
That sums it up pretty nicely. Here’s the video. Do you think he swallowed a poison pill?