A ruined millionaire who collapsed and died in court after being found guilty of arson committed suicide by taking cyanide, a coroner has confirmed.
Michael Marin, 53, was found to have the quick-acting toxin in his system having ingested it just after being convicted of deliberately burning down his Arizona mansion, according to Maricopa County medical examiner Kevin Horn.
Video of the sentencing apparently showed Marin putting something in his mouth minutes before he collapsed. Officials at the time speculated that he might have taken some sort of poison.
Sheriff’s investigators found a canister of sodium cyanide powder inside his car after being alerted to the vehicle by Marin’s adult son.
The son had received a delayed email from Marin about the location and said his will was in order in case ‘things don’t go well in court’, investigators said.
Sodium cyanide, commonly used to extract gold during the mining process, is known to inhibit breathing. Investigators believe Marin fashioned the powder he purchased last year from a California supplier into capsules to be consumed in court.