Paul Bradbury—Getty Images/Caiaimage
By Julia Zorthian
March 9, 2017

It’s not just a metaphor anymore: a defense lawyer literally had “pants on fire” as he addressed a jury in Miami Wednesday.

Stephen Gutierrez was about to deliver closing remarks in an arson case, contending that his client didn’t intentionally set fire to his car, but that it spontaneously combusted. When he began fiddling with his pocket, the Miami Herald reports, smoke began emerging and he ran out of the courtroom.

The jurors were removed from the courtroom and Gutierrez returned with a “singed pocket,” but maintained that his own spontaneous combustion was not an act. Witnesses told the Herald that Gutierrez blamed an e-cigarette in his pocket.

A Miami-Dade Circuit Judge could decide to hold Gutierrez in contempt of court, the Herald adds.

Jurors found his client guilty of the arson charges.

[Miami Herald]

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