FORT MYERS, Fla. – A man scheduled for sentencing for two murders, was found dead in the Lee County jail one day before the court appearance.
The Lee County Sheriff’s Office says 72-year-old Michael Spiegel jumped from the second floor landing of his cell block.
“Our investigators have thoroughly reviewed the circumstances of his death and it appears Mr. Spiegel sentenced himself the day before he was to be sentenced by the Court. This has been a tragic case from the beginning when he took two lives and it ended today with him taking his own,” Sheriff Mike Scott said in a statement.
In August 2015, Spiegel was found guilty of second degree murder in the deaths of his ex-wife Marilyn Spiegel and her fiance, Harry Carlip.
Spiegel was also convicted of arson for setting their boat on fire after the murders. The murders happened on Fort Myers Beach in May 2014.
Spiegel’s lawyers tried to convince jurors he was delirious and psychotic at the time of the killings. But the State Attorney’s Office shot down that defense, explaining Spiegel went to see Marilyn and Harry, in a disguise and had duct tape, a knife and a gun with a silencer.
WINK News reached out to Spiegel’s attorney Robert Harris, who said, “Michael Spiegel had a remarkable life that unraveled in an act of pain and madness. Today that pain became too much to bare and he took his own life. A sad ending to a tragic story. If there is one thing that can be said about Michael Spiegel to the very end, he truly loved his three sons. On behalf of the Robert Harris Law Firm, my thoughts are with them and the families of the victims.”
Spiegel was supposed to face a judge Monday for his formal sentencing. He would have faced at least 25 years in prison.