PHOENIX, ARIZONA (BNO NEWS) — A former millionaire died in a courtroom in Phoenix on Thursday afternoon, just moments after being found guilty of arson and apparently ingesting something which may have caused his death, officials said.
Michael Marin, 53, was convicted of Arson of an Occupied Structure in Maricopa County Superior Court on Thursday. Wearing scuba gear to escape the flames, he burnt down his own $3.5 million mansion after running into financial trouble in 2009, according to local media reports on Friday.
Once fire officials arrived on scene, they discovered several areas inside the structure where a fire had been ignited, according to KNXV-TV. Officials said Marin owed payments on the home that he was unable to make. Prosecutors argued that his motive was to collect insurance on the home.
After the verdict, while lawyers were arguing aggravating factors in the case, Marin, who was known locally as “Burning Man”, appeared to swallow an unknown liquid. Within moments, his face turned red and he began to convulse. He soon collapsed and was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.
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