Yesterday, jurors in a Miami Florida courtroom were witness to an event that they will probably be retelling to friends and family for years to come. They were presiding over the trial of Claudy Charles, a man accused of committing arson by setting his own car on fire.
Charles’ defense lawyer was Stephen Gutierrez and his hope of winning the case was pinned on convincing the jury that the car had spontaneously combusted. In fact, he was in the process of making that argument when smoke started billowing out of his pants pocket.
After it fire was put out, Gutierrez claimed that it wasn’t a stunt, but that a faulty battery in his e-cigarette had started a fire in his pants.
If it was a stunt, it didn’t work. Jurors quickly found Charles guilty of second degree arson. Meanwhile, investigators confiscated the burnt e-cig and if they find out that this was a stunt, Gutierrez could find himself being charged with contempt of court.
Now, before you automatically decide that the lawyer was pulling something on the jury, keep in mind that there is some proof of these e-cigarettes blowing up. Just last year, a similar e-cigarette exploded in the mouth of a Florida man, leaving him in a coma.