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Former Lawyer Collapses and Dies in Court After Conviction

Posted Jun 29, 2012 8:59 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A former lawyer collapsed and died Thursday in an Arizona courtroom moments after he was found guilty of arson for burning down his Phoenix mansion.

Sheriff’s deputies were investigating whether Michael Marin poisoned himself after the verdict was read, report the Associated Press and the Arizona Republic. A courtroom video shows him covering his mouth with both hands and apparently swallowing.

Marin had flown planes, written books, collected Picassos and scaled Mount Everest, the Arizona Republic says. He was accused of burning down his mansion because he could no longer afford the mortgage. He managed to avoid the smoke during his escape with the aid of scuba equipment.

The Phoenix New Times profiled Marin after his arrest. He graduated from Yale Law School, worked at a large New York law firm as a transactional lawyer, and went on to head the legal department for Salomon Brothers in Asia. He later worked on the financial side for Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch.

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