JammedUp News


U.S. citizen convicted of drug trafficking in Taiwan commits suicide in court

June 18, 2016  |  Posted by: JammedUp Staff
U.S. citizen convicted of drug trafficking in Taiwan commits suicide in court

Are you in a legal jam? Find a Lawyer, Bail Bondsman or Private Investigator on JammedUp.

An American man, who was sentenced to four years imprisonment during a court proceeding in a Taiwan for drug possession, announced that he did not want to live anymore and then proceeded to stab himself in the neck.

Paramedics rushed US citizen Tyrel Martin Marhanka to a local hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

A judge in the Changhua District Court declared his punishment and Marhanka faced his interpreter who informed him of the verdict.

Marhanka said in response, “Four years?” The translator then advised him that he could submit an appeal, but Marhanka was not interested.

He yelled the words “I don’t want to live anymore,” and then stabbed himself with 8-inch scissor blades on both sides of his neck. The Taipei Times reported that he fatally severed critical arteries, and blood then spewed everywhere.

According to the Associated Press, Marhanka reportedly smuggled the scissor blades in by hiding them inside a magazine which was tucked under his arm. He was taken to the hospital, but doctors were unable to save him.

The 41-year-old American lived in Taiwan for over 15 years. He was apprehended in April 2015 after authorities discovered more than 200 cannabis plants, 195 dried cannabis plants, and ten opium poppies at his home.

The man also reportedly smuggled approximately 800 poppy seeds from the United States back in 2011. Just two years later, he began growing cannabis using seeds he purchased from a British website. He claimed to have grown the plants as a “hobby.”

The Times reported that Marhanka worked as an English teacher. He and his Taiwanese wife have a daughter in Kindergarten and a son in second grade.

District Court judge, Wang Yi-min, apologized for the death in a statement, saying: “We deeply regret that Tyrel Martin Marhanka killed himself during the sentencing.”

The judge continued, “He was cooperative during the investigation and the trial. His attitude was mild, and he did not show any signs that he would commit suicide.”

The judge said that new and improved security measures would be implemented as a result of the incident, including the installation of an X-ray machine.

Get the latest news from the world of crime