Is Arson a Burning Issue or Simply a Hot Topic in Court Litigation?
Lawyer’s pants erupt in flames during Miami arson trial | Miami Herald
March 8, 2017
Hot story: Miami lawyers pants erupt in flames during arson trial in court
A Miami defense lawyers pants burst into flames Wednesday afternoon as he began his closing arguments in front of a jury in an arson case.
Stephen Gutierrez, who was arguing that his clients car spontaneously combusted and was not intentionally set on fire, had been fiddling in his pocket as he was about to address jurors when smoke began billowing out his right pocket, witnesses told the Miami Herald.
He rushed out of the Miami courtroom, leaving spectators stunned. After jurors were ushered out, Gutierrez returned unharmed, with a singed pocket, and insisted it wasnt a staged defense demonstration gone wrong, observers said.
Instead, Gutierrez blamed a faulty battery in an e-cigarette, witnesses told the Miami Herald.
It was surreal, one observer told the Miami Herald.
Florida lawyer’s trousers catch fire in court arson trial
Police and prosecutors are investigating the incident, the newspaper reports, saying that officers “seized several frayed e-cigarette batteries as evidence”.
Mr Gutierrez, 28, was making his closing argument to jurors when the fire erupted.
He returned to the court moments after running out, still wearing the singed pants, to explain the incident.
The defence attorney was representing Claudy Charles, who was accused of intentionally setting fire to his car in South Miami-Dade.
Jurors later convicted Charles of second-degree arson.
E-cigarettes have been known to catch fire, with several incidents caught on video.
Lawyer defending arson suspect flees court with pants on fire
Following the heat of a courtroom battle a lawyer defending an alleged arsonist was reportedly forced to flee proceedings temporarily after his own pants* caught fire.
A lot of people could have been hurt, one person who witnessed the debacle tol the paper.
Police officers that were present took hold of several frazzled e-ciggie batteries that could be used as evidence, and are understood to be probing the events.
Miami Dade Circuit Judge Michael Hanzman may decide to hold Gutierrez in contempt of court, the paper reported.
A vaping treat turned really nasty for an American man earlier this year, when Toyota salesbod Andrew Hall claimed his e-cig had exploded mid-puff which blew out seven teeth, caused second degree burns and led to a stint in intensive care.
The complete articles may be read at the URLs provided for each.
The jury is still out as to whether the pants will be sent to jail on charges of smoking in a court room.
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