Criminal Procedure

Lawyer's suicide may void his judicial bribery case conviction

Convicted last year in a judicial bribery case and sentenced to three and a half years, a South Texas lawyer may have cleared his conviction by committing suicide Feb. 28 as he was due to report to federal prison.

Because Ray R. Marchan, 56, had an appeal pending at the time of his death, his lawyer, Eric J. Davis, moved to dismiss the case as moot. The government did not oppose this routine motion, and it was granted Wednesday by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Davis tells the Valley Morning Star.

The 5th Circuit order calls for the trial court “to vacate the judgment and the sentence imposed thereupon” concerning Marchan’s conviction on racketeering, extortion and mail fraud charges, and Davis said he expects the result of this order will likely be that his client’s conviction will be voided, the newspaper reports.

This development was greeted as good news by Marchan’s survivors.

“Anyone who knows my brother, Ray Marchan, knows that his lifetime of accomplishments will always outweigh his more recent troubles,” said his sister, Jacqueline Marchan Britton, in a written statement provided to the newspaper on Saturday.

“His children will forever bear the tragic loss of their father, so it is good if this ruling helps their future in any way. We are grateful to Mr. Davis for addressing this matter with the court and restoring his name.”

Additional coverage: “Latest Lawyer Sentenced in Judicial Bribery Case Gets 3.5 Years in Federal Prison” “Lawyer convicted in judge bribery case dies in apparent suicide as another is found guilty”

Last updated to make a word change.

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