The suspect wasn’t the only one under fire in this arson case.
While delivering closing arguments, a Miami defense lawyer’s pants erupted in flames at the Wednesday afternoon trial. Attorney Stephen Gutierrez, 28, was sent running out of the courtroom when smoke started coming out of his right pocket, the Miami Herald reported.
Gutierrez had been defending his client, Claudy Charles, 48, against accusations that he had intentionally set his own car ablaze.
According to witnesses, the attorney had been fidgeting with his pocket prior to the wardrobe malfunction. Gutierrez, who returned to the courtroom unharmed, blamed the battery of his e-cigarette for the fire.
Those in attendance said they were left stunned by the episode.
“It was surreal,” one witness told the Miami Herald.
Authorities are investigating the incident, and the Miami-Dade County Circuit judge could decide to hold the attorney in contempt of court.
Gutierrez’s client, Charles, was convicted of second-degree arson.