Florida lawyer’s pants erupt in flames during closing arguments in arson case

Posted at 5:08 PM, Mar 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-09 17:08:53-05

MIAMI - Jurors trying to assess the truthfulness of defense lawyer Stephen Gutierrez's closing arguments in an arson trial Wednesday may have been dismayed to notice that his pants were literally on fire.

Witnesses say the lawyer had to flee the Miami courtroom with smoke billowing from his pocket, the Miami Herald reports. When he returned, the lawyer, who'd been seen fiddling in his pocket, blamed a faulty e-cigarette battery.

Gutierrez said the bizarre pocket blaze wasn't an attempt to demonstrate the innocence of his client, who's accused of setting his own car on fire. Gutierrez argued that the vehicle spontaneously combusted.

The jury found his client guilty of second-degree arson, and prosecutors are considering charging Gutierrez with contempt of court, the Herald reports. CNET notes that the lawyer has declined to respond to the media's requests for comment, which "leaves several burning questions unanswered."

This article originally appeared on Newser: Lawyer's Pants Catch Fire During Arson Trial

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