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Old 01-05-2012, 10:04 AM
Twoller Twoller is offline
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Default German legal is behind LA arson attacks

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012...uspect-charged

This guy and his mother were not illegals, they were in the country legally.

Quote:
Los Angeles authorities charge German man over arson attacks

Prosecutors file multiple charges against Harry Burkhart, 24, suspected of setting off over 50 fires causing $3m in damage

Associated Press

guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 4 January 2012 18.09 EST


[image]Los Angeles prosecutors filed 28 counts of arson of property and nine counts of arson of an inhabited structure against Harry Burkhart. Photograph: Hoep/AP

A German man whas been charged with arson in connection with a rash of fires in Los Angeles over the New Year's weekend.

Los Angeles prosecutors filed dozens of counts against 24-year-old Harry Burkhart.

Burkhart is expected to make his initial court appearance later on Wednesday. It wasn't immediately known if he had retained an attorney.

Burkhart is suspected of setting more than 50 blazes that caused an estimated $3m in damage. He has refused to co-operate with investigators since his arrest on Monday.

Authorities said they believe he was angry over his mother's legal troubles and went on a night-time rampage of burning parked cars a day after she appeared in court last week.

Burkhart has been put on suicide watch, a law enforcement official said on Wednesday. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because of privacy issues.

Burkhart's mother Dorothee said in court on Tuesday that her son is mentally ill.

Burkhart is also under investigation in his home country of Germany for a house fire north of Frankfurt in October, days before he travelled to the US.

The fire at the house, which belonged to the Burkhart family, has been ruled an arson, Marburg prosecutors' spokeswoman Annemarie Wied told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

Burkhart, whom Wied identified only as "Harry B" in keeping with German privacy laws, has not yet been questioned in the case and no arrest warrant has been issued for him. She said she did not know how long ago he had been identified as a suspect in the arson investigation.

Burkhart was in Los Angeles by 26 October, 12 days after the Marburg area fire, according to US court papers, which say that he went with his mother on that day to the German consulate to renew his passport.

Court documents were unsealed Tuesday that revealed Dorothee has been charged in Germany with 19 counts of fraud.

Frankfurt court spokesman Guenther Meilinger told the AP that Dorothee Burkhart will go on trial for the fraud charges once she is extradited back to Germany.


"We expect and hope that the US authorities will look into the request for extradition … so that the proceedings against her can continue," he said.

Both mother and son are being held without bail. Her next court hearing was delayed until Friday so she can hire an attorney, and charges could be filed against Harry Burkhart as early as Wednesday.

Burkhart's non-immigrant visa is set to expire on 18 January, authorities said. His mother last entered the country lawfully in January 2007 and she left four months later, officials said.

A federal law enforcement official, speaking on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorised to discuss the case, said Harry Burkhart was present when his mother was arrested on a provisional arrest warrant, which is normally issued when there are criminal charges pending overseas against someone. Ordinarily, US authorities then obtain an arrest warrant through the State Department and the Justice Department.

Burkhart had been in court at his mother's hearing when he launched into an obscenity-laden tirade, shouting "Fuck the United States!" said Thom Mrozek, spokesman at the US attorney's office in Los Angeles.

Mrozek said Burkhart was detained and later escorted out of the courthouse.

He said Burkhart did not make any specific threats against anyone or property at his mother's court hearing.

A law enforcement official, who requested anonymity because the investigation is ongoing, said authorities believe Burkhart went on the arson spree because he was angry over his mother's legal troubles.

• This article was amended on 5 January 2012. The original headline referred to over 50 fires causing $3bn in damage. This has been corrected.
Notice also that race could not possibly be an issue here.
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