Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Container Labeled ‘Cyanide’ Found in Car of Suspected Courtroom Suicide

Michael Marin as he appears to place something in his mouth.

New information has been released in the case of Michael Marin, 53, the Former Wall Street banker suspected of killing himself in court on June 29 after being found guilty of arson. Marin, 53, a one-time millionaire who burned down his house after being unable to pay for it, faced a 15 3/4 year sentence.

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said Marin’s family received a post-dated email the evening following his death, which read,  ”If things don’t go good in court, Marin’s wills are in place and his car can be found parked at a Mesa location.”  A search of his vehicle turned up a container labeled “cyanide,” which Marin had ordered online last year, before the start of his trial. The container was turned over to the medical examiner’s office for testing.

In a video (seen below) recorded in Maricopa County Superior Court, Marin is seen covering his face with his hands and appears to be putting something in his mouth after hearing the guilty verdict. Seven minutes later, Marin begins to heave and wheeze before collapsing on the floor. He was dead before he reached the hospital. Investigators suspect poison was the cause of death.

Before coming upon hard times financially, Marin, equipped with a Yale law degree and millions in assets, lived a luxurious life. Then, his bulging bank account grew empty and his debts skyrocketed. By the time his Phoenix mansion burned down in 2009, Marin owed hundreds of thousands of dollars.  Though Marin claimed to have barely escaped his burning home, he was charged with arson of an occupied structure after investigators found boxes of flammable debris lining the walls inside.

Judge Bruce Cohen dismissed the jury after Marin collapsed. When Marin was pronounced dead, Cohen said ”I’m at a loss for words, honestly, at this point.”

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