A man who was before time sentenced to prison over the death of his wife, reportedly killed himself in the court where he was being sentenced.

Mark had been married to local fifth-grade teacher Anne, 52, for 32 years. They both lived in Virginia, and had three grown-up children.

As the years rolled by, Mark had become increasingly controlling over his wife. Anne felt trapped in the marriage and was looking for a way out. UK Mirror tells the story.

Before her death, Anne, 52, had reconnected with a high-school sweetheart online and rekindled their romance. Chris Crowley lived in California, but they messaged constantly and Anne was planning to end things with her husband to be with him.

Unfortunately, Mark knew about her plans. He’d grown suspicious and started to follow her everywhere. He didn’t want his wife to leave him.

On March 7, 2000, her online flame, Chris, called the police in a panic to say he hadn’t heard from Anne and he was worried. She’d told Chris she was going to tell Mark their marriage was over. So where was she?

Not long afterwards, at around 1pm, Mark ran to a neighbour’s house shouting for help. He said he’d come home and found Anne’s lifeless body – he thought she’d choked on some food so he’d performed the Heimlich manoeuvre.

Frantic neighbours Robert and Melissa Frederick raced over and found Anne’s body on the floor. She was cold to the touch, but Mark was sitting on her chest and slapping her face in an attempt to revive her. When Robert tried to help, Mark refused to step away.

Even when paramedics arrived, Mark was huddled around Anne, restricting their access. But they determined there was nothing they could do and Anne was pronounced dead.

After her death, police discovered Anne’s diary at her home,

“I am in love for the first time in 33 years,” it read. “I feel compelled to check my mail… I am having the time of my life.”

But an autopsy said Anne had choked on food – probably a piece of chicken because some was found in her stomach. Her death was deemed accidental.

Straight away, relations between Mark and his children grew strained.

The years went by and Mark remarried. His children filed a wrongful death lawsuit against their dad, alleging that he drugged, beat and choked Anne, then stood by as she died. It was dismissed, but Mark agreed on a settlement without admitting any guilt.

It took 12 years before the case was reopened and a new autopsy was ordered – done through a re-examination of the paperwork, pictures and evidence.

This time, a medical examiner said Anne had been suffocated in a homicidal manner. There was significant bruising to her arms, pelvic area, head, face and chest, as well as lacerations on her face.

In 2013, Mark was charged with murder. At the trial this year at Montgomery County Courthouse, Mark, now 70, confirmed that he knew Anne was planning to leave him and that she was sleeping in the spare room. His daughters testified against him.

Mark was found guilty of voluntary manslaughter and Anne’s family sobbed with relief. But there was a final twist. As Mark was led away, court officials were heard yelling, “Drop it, drop it.” Suddenly, the courtroom was evacuated.

After a few hours, it was revealed that Mark Faville had died from a self-inflicted wound. It was never disclosed just how Mark killed himself – to protect court security and so others couldn’t follow his example.

Courtroom staff aren’t allowed to carry guns, and x-ray machines screen for metal objects. All that was revealed was that he’d died from a laceration from a ‘non-metallic’ object.

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