Trial by fire: Lawyer’s pants set ablaze

Austin American-Statesman - - MORE OF TODAY’S TOP NEWS -

A Mi­ami de­fense at­tor­ney is feel­ing the heat from his pants catch­ing fire Wed­nes­day af­ter he told ju­rors dur­ing ar­gu­ments in an ar­son case that his client’s car spon­ta­neously com­busted and wasn’t in­ten­tion­ally set.

As he started speak­ing to the jury, Stephen Gu­tier­rez, 28, said he no­ticed his pocket be­gan to feel hot.

“When I checked my pocket, I no­ticed that the heat was com­ing from a small e-cig­a­rette bat­tery I had in my pocket,” Gu­tier­rez told the As­so­ci­ated Press via email on Thurs­day af­ter­noon. He said he had two to three of the bat­ter­ies in his right pocket.

Gu­tier­rez said he quickly left the court­room and went to a court­house bath­room.

“I was able to toss the bat­tery in wa­ter af­ter it singed my pocket open,” he said. Gu­tier­rez said the in­ci­dent was not staged. “No one thinks that a bat­tery left in their pocket is some­how going to ‘ex­plode,’ ” he wrote.

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