Wall Street trader dies after taking 'suicide pill' in court
A Former Wall Street trader, who faced 16 years in jail for burning down his mansion in a mortgage fraud, collapsed and died after his conviction after appearing to take a suicide pill.
Michael Marin (53) had just been found guilty by a court in Phoenix, Arizona, of burning down his $3.5m (€2.7m) house. He buried his head in his hands before appearing to put something inside his mouth and swallowing.
As court proceedings continued, he appeared to swallow a second unknown object before taking a drink. Minutes later, he turned to talk to someone behind him before convulsing and falling to the floor.
Lawyers and court staff rushed to his aid and he was taken to hospital, where he later died.
Mr Marin, who owned several original Picasso etchings, was said to be no longer able to afford to pay his mortgage.
The graduate of Yale Law School set fire to the house in July 2009, two months after trying to sell it in a raffle. He had hoped that 176,000 people would pay $26 each for a ticket.
Mr Marin was found outside the house wearing scuba diving gear and claimed that he had fled the fire by using a rope ladder to climb from a second-floor window.
Investigators said they had found four points of origin for the fire, both upstairs and downstairs, and had discovered phone books, boxes and newspapers covered in petrol.
Prosecutors told the court that Mr Marin -- a former Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch employee -- was a successful banker whose world and finances had collapsed during the economic downturn.
Mr Marin had denied the charge. Before his arrest, he told a local newspaper: "One, you don't set fire to something that you're in and then go trap yourself upstairs to make a more dramatic exit.
"The second thing, if you bore into my finances, this was the worst thing that could have happened to me.
"Not only did I not have any incentive personally, I totally had a counter-incentive."
The results of toxicology tests are awaited. (© Daily Telegraph, London)