A Miami lawyer ended up on the hot seat after his pants pocket caught fire while he defended his client — against arson charges.
Defense attorney Stephen Gutierrez, 28, was delivering his closing arguments on Wednesday in an arson case when he suddenly rushed out of the courtroom with smoke billowing from his pants.
Gutierrez was representing Claudy Charles, 48, who was accused of intentionally setting his car on fire. The Miami Herald reported what while Gutierrez was arguing that his client’s car spontaneously combusted, he was also fidgeting with an e-cigarette in his pocket. Before he could finish addressing the jurors, smoke began to rise out of his right pocket, and that’s when he hurried out of the courtroom.
Gutierrez said he was just as surprised as anyone by his pants catching on fire, adding that the incident was not staged.
“Shortly after beginning my argument, I noticed that my pocket began to feel hot. When I checked my pocket, I noticed that the heat was coming from a small e-cigarette battery I had in my pocket,” Gutierrez said in an email to the Miami New Times.
“I noticed the heat was intensifying and left the courtroom as quickly as possible — straight into the bathroom. I was able to toss the battery in water after it singed my pocket open,” he added.
The attorney returned to the courtroom and finished his closing arguments.
“No one thinks that a battery left in their pocket is somehow going to explode,” he said.
You can say that again, but the timing of this particular fire was incredible.
He also told the New Times that e-cigarette accessories could be dangerous, and those dangers led him to quit using e-cigarettes.
That’s probably not a bad idea.
In case you’re wondering, jurors found Charles guilty of second-degree arson.
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H/T The Daily Caller