American man stabs himself to death in Taiwan court after getting sentenced for growing marijuana plants

A 41-year-old American man stabbed himself in the neck at the court in Taiwan after after being convicted of possession of marijuana and sentenced to four years in prison.

According to Taipei Times, the man -- identified as US citizen Tyrel Martin Marhanka -- was rushed to a local hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

According to witnesses, after the Changhua District Court judge read his ruling, Marhanka turned to the translator, who told him the sentence, before Marhanka was heard saying: “Four years?”

The translator told Marhanka that he could appeal the decision, but he replied: “I don’t want to appeal.”

He yelled, “I don’t want to live anymore,” took out two metal objects, and with one in each hand stabbed himself on both sides of the neck, making blood gush out.

Court officials said Marhanka had smuggled in a pair of 21cm scissors, which he had separated into two sharp metal blades.

Marhanka was arrested in April last year and charged with possession of marijuana and other narcotics, after police found more than 200 cannabis plants, 195 dried cannabis plants and 10 opium poppies at a rented house.

At the time of his arrest, Marhanka told police officers he grew the plants as a “hobby” and that they were all intended for his own use. 

Marhanka had lived in Taiwan for more than 15 years, and had a Taiwanese wife and two children — a son in second grade and a daughter in kindergarten.