March 9 (UPI) -- A Miami lawyer's pants caught on fire while defending his client in an arson case on Wednesday afternoon.
Smoke began to rise out of 28-year-old attorney Stephen Gutierrez's pants after he had been seen fiddling with his pocket while arguing that his client Claudy Charles did not intentionally set his car on fire.
"It was surreal," a courtroom observer told the Miami Herald.
Gutierrez rushed out of the courtroom and returned a few minutes later, claiming the sudden fire was the result of a faulty e-cigarette battery and not part of a staged stunt to illustrate his defense.
Charles was found guilty and prosecutors have launched an investigation into the bizarre incident.
Police collected several e-cigarette batteries from Gutierrez's pocket for evidence and Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Michael Hanzman may find him in contempt of court.