American Man Kills Himself In Taiwan Court Following 4-Year Drug Sentence
An American citizen ended his life after having been convicted of growing marijuana in Taiwan. Tyrel Martin Marhanka, slashed his throat with a pair of scissors, according to The New York Times.
Tyrel was reportedly convicted of growing marijuana at his home in Changhau, in central Taiwan, and importing the illegal drugs as well as opium seeds. The maximum prison term for growing and importing drugs in the country is up to seven years. But the court granted him a lesser sentence of four years because he had not sold the marijuana and was reportedly growing it for his own use.
When a court interpreter told Marhanka the verdict, he replied, "four years?," a witness told The Tapei Times. When alerted that he could appeal the sentence he replied, "I don't want to live anymore," before taking a disassembled pair of scissors to his neck, according to the Taiwanese newspaper.
Authorities reportedly found a magazine in which Tyrel used to conceal the scissors. The court explained in an official statement that the building did not have enough space for more advanced metal detectors and scanners, which is why the weapon went undetected.
Marhanka, who worked as an English teacher, leaves behind a wife and two children, whom he lived with in Taiwan. His death has raised questions about Taiwan's security in its judicial system, as scissors were used in another incident in which six inmates used them to kill themselves, according to The New York Times.