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Pants on fire: Lawyer’s trousers burst into flames while defending client accused of arson

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Stephen Gutierrez blamed the crotch combustion on a faulty e-cigarette battery

A lawyer’s trousers burst into flames earlier this week while defending a client accused of arson.

Stephen Gutierrez (pictured below), a Miami-based criminal defence specialist, was representing Claudy Charles, who stood accused of deliberately setting his own car on fire.

Presenting his closing arguments to the jury on Wednesday, Gutierrez argued that his client’s vehicle had actually spontaneously combusted, and therefore he was not guilty of arson.

However the 28-year-old lawyer’s speech was quickly cut short when smoke began billowing out of his right pocket. Leaving court onlookers stunned, Gutierrez made a dash for the exit.

Returning moments later with a singed pocket, the lawyer blamed the crotch combustion on a faulty battery in an e-cigarette. Gutierrez denied that the incident was a staged defence demonstration gone wrong. Whatever the reason, the in-court theatrics didn’t work, as Charles was eventually found guilty of second-degree arson.

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