Defense Lawyer’s Pants Catch Fire During Trial In Miami

MIAMI (AP) – A Miami defense attorney is feeling the heat after his pants caught fire as he delivered closing arguments in an arson case.

Witnesses told the Miami Herald 28-year-old Stephen Gutierrez was fiddling in his pocket Wednesday while addressing jurors when smoke started billowing from his pants. At the time, he was arguing that his client’s car spontaneously combusted and wasn’t intentionally set on fire.

Gutierrez quickly left the courtroom. Jurors also were escorted out.

When Gutierrez returned unharmed, he insisted it wasn’t a staged defense gone wrong. The Herald reports he blamed a faulty e-cigarette battery.

Miami-Dade police and prosecutors are investigating the incident. Investigators seized frayed e-cigarette batteries as evidence.

Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Michael Hanzman could decide to hold Gutierrez in contempt of court.

Gutierrez represented 48-year-old Claudy Charles who was eventually convicted of second-degree arson.

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One Comment

  1. A lawyer whose pants were literally on fire while trying to sell a story to the jury that a car spontaneously combusted – either his client can make things spontaneously combust and is the unfortunate victim of a narrow-minded society, or his lawyer became the living personification of, “liar liar, pants are on fire” during closing arguments. I think the jury picked the logical choice. However, that said, I don’t think the judge should hold the lawyer in contempt of court – if it was due to a faulty e-cigarette, the lawyer is the latest victim of those explosive e-cigs, not a criminal.

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