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US man kills self in court

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AFP) – An American man fatally stabbed himself with a pair of scissors in a Taiwan courtroom Thursday during his sentencing on drug possession charges, raising questions over security failings.

The man, named as 41-year-old Tyrel Martin Marhanka, is thought to have hidden the dismantled scissors inside a magazine to get past a metal detecting door, Changhua district court said.

When the judge handed down a four-year prison sentence for smuggling poppy and marijuana seeds and for growing marijuana, Marhanka stabbed himself in the neck before bailiffs could stop him.

He was rushed to a hospital but emergency treatment failed to revive him. Marhanka was married to a Taiwanese woman with two children and had been living on the island for many years, according to the court.