A Virginia man died Friday moments after he was convicted of his wife's murder, apparently by killing himself in the courthouse, the Roanoke Times reports. Found guilty of voluntary manslaughter—which carries a sentence of one to ten years—72-year-old Mark Faville was taken to a holding room. The details of what happened as he exited the courtroom remain thin: A sheriff's deputy was overheard shouting, "Drop it, drop it!" Faville "was pronounced dead at the scene," says a spokeswoman for the town of Christiansburg. "At this time, it is believed Faville died from a self-inflicted wound." Local police are investigating, but sources say courthouse bailiffs in charge of defendants aren't armed, and Faville didn't die by a bullet. Plus there's a metal detector at the courthouse door to keep out weapons; even cellphones aren't permitted.
His wife's cold case is also unusual. Anne Faville, 52, described as a "prolific writer," died in the Faville home in March of 2000 from choking on a chicken, according to the initial autopsy. But an autopsy by a later assistant chief medical examiner in 2012 judged her death murder by suffocation. "It’s very rare that you see two experts from the same office giving conflicting statements," says Mark Faville's lawyer. Police also found odd notes in Mark's new home, including "Time is running out. After tox report, they will have all they are waiting on. They will come to get me." And one of their daughters testified to troubles in their relationship before Anne died, saying Mark would follow her when she went shopping, WSLS reports. Anne's friends and family members filled the courthouse with gasps and cries of relief when the verdict was read, notes the Times. (In 2013, this man killed himself with a cyanide pill immediately after his conviction.)