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Criminal Justice

Lawyer convicted in judge bribery case dies in apparent suicide as another is found guilty

Posted Mar 1, 2013 9:38 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A South Texas lawyer facing 42 months in prison in a judicial bribery case died in an apparent suicide on Thursday, the same day that jurors convicted another lawyer in the corruption scandal.

Authorities in Cameron County, Texas, found the body of Ray Marchan, 56, after a daylong search spurred by a cabdriver’s report, according to the San Antonio Express-News, the Brownsville Herald and the Associated Press. The driver said his passenger claimed he was nauseous, exited the cab, and then jumped from the bridge that connects Padre Island and Port Isabel.

Marchan, a Stanford law grad, was scheduled to report to prison on Thursday. He was convicted last year of racketeering for bribing Judge Abel Limas, who was previously convicted for taking bribes while on the bench.

Marchan's appellate lawyer, Eric Davis of Houston, told the AP that he spoke with his client on Wednesday. "He did not seem despondent," Davis said. "I would not have predicted this. I'm shocked by this. He was hopeful and asserting his innocence still."

Marchan died on the same day that jurors convicted another lawyer in the judicial bribery case. Austin lawyer Marc Rosenthal was convicted of racketeering conspiracy, bribery, extortion, tampering and mail fraud, the Valley Morning Star reports.

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