PHOENIX - A Valley man who died Thursday shortly after being found guilty of arson apparently ingested something just before collapsing in a Phoenix courtroom.
Maricopa County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Jeff Sprong said it looked like Michael Marin put something in his mouth seconds after hearing the verdict.
Video from inside the courtroom shows Marin's face turning red as he appears to swallow something. Then, two minutes and forty seconds later, he turned around, started to cough and began to convulse.
Phoenix fire officials said he died at a local hospital a short time later.
Marin was convicted Thursday of burning down his Biltmore Estates home in July 2009. He was facing 10 to 21 years in prison.
The 53-year-old was arrested in August 2009, accused of setting fire to the $3.5 million mansion.
Investigators at the time discovered several areas inside the structure where a fire had been ignited. The investigation also turned up residue from an accelerent.
Officials said Marin owed payments on the home that he was unable to make. Prosecutors believe an insurance payout was the motive in the case.
Marin told investigators he escaped the fire by climbing down a foldout ladder wearing scuba diving gear to protect himself from the smoke.
Closing arguments in the case wrapped up Wednesday and the jury read their verdict Thursday afternoon. Marin was found guilty of arson of an occupied structure.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
One person will win a three-year lease on a 2013 Honda Civic Lx Sedan automatic.
Click to see the latest mugshots, plus this week's wanted fugitives.
This feature packed upgrade brings you faster performance, easier navigation, and stunning improvements to photos, video and readability.