Convicted of statutory sodomy, death sounded like a better alternative…

Steve Parsons was standing trial last week charged with the sexual assault of a 14-year-old girl. When the jury came back with a guilty verdict, authorities say White made a shocking decision with a room full of witnesses.

After a three-day trial and less than six hours of deliberations– 48-year-old Steve Parsons sat in front of a jury of his peers and was found not guilty of forcible sodomy, but guilty of statutory sodomy.

“As the judge was polling the jury, Mr. Parson’s stood up, walked to where I was seated and looked at me and said, ‘I’m going to throw up,’” said Nodaway County Sheriff Darren White, who was seated in the courtroom just feet from Parsons.

“He picked up a drink, took a very small drink out of this cup and then returned to his seat,” White explained.

White says the well-known business owner looked a little off.

In June of 2012, an Arizona man also committed suicide by poison in the courtroom after finding out he was found guilty.

Marin, 53, had fashioned a larger-than-life persona. Tall and distinguished, he had a law degree from Yale University and had scaled Mount Everest. He flew planes and wrote books. He owned a mansion full of fine art in the ritzy Biltmore Estates neighborhood of Phoenix. He had amassed a small fortune — and lost it.

His mansion caught fire in July 2009. Marin said he barely escaped by climbing down a rope ladder from the second floor while wearing a scuba tank and diving mask to protect him from smoke inhalation.

But inside, arson investigators found boxes of flammable debris laid end-to-end through the house from the four ignition points, as if to feed the blaze. Marin was charged with arson of an occupied structure.

“Michael Marin couldn’t pay his mortgage, so he burned down his house,” Deputy Maricopa County Attorney Chris Rapp said in opening statements of the trial on May 21.

Rapp laid bare Marin’s dire financial straits. In the year before the fire, his bank account shrank from $900,000 to just $50. He had a monthly mortgage of $17,250 on the mansion with a balloon payment of $2.3million coming due. In addition, Marin paid another $2,500 per month on a more modest home in Gilbert — where Rapp said he actually lived — and had an overdue tax bill of more than $34,000.

Marin tried to set up a raffle to pay off the loan, but it was deemed illegal by law enforcement and shut down. Then the house burned.

On Thursday, the jury reached a verdict, and Marin and his attorneys were summoned to the courtroom of Judge Bruce Cohen for a 12:30 p.m. hearing.

Read more about the case and surrounding circumstances of the death @ AZ Central.

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