Harry Burkhart, 29 is accused of setting 50 fires and causing untold damages in revenge for the US deporting his mother to Germany where she is facing fraud charges. Burkhart allegedly said that he wanted to “roast America” over his mother’s deportation and he did manage to roast a nice size chunk of it by placing explosive devices under cars.
Burkhart ‘wanted America to burn’ and ‘was going to resolve his grievance through fire and fear,’ Carney said. ‘He was ready to set many more.’
In addition, investigators said that they had never seen the items used for arson in the case in the US. Though, it was learned that the items were more common in European crimes.
‘All you have to do is light the paper and it starts a fire,’ Carney said.
Investigators say Burkhart had 10 minutes to flee before any flames were visible in the blazes.
‘By the time the fire looks like this on this video on Cahuenga,’ Carney said while showing video from one of the devastating blazes. ‘He has already set his next fire.’
Burkhart is charged with dozens of felonies and could face 80 years in state prison if convicted. He has pleaded not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity.
In a brief opening statement, Deputy Public Defender Steve Schoenfield said prosecutors can tie Burkhart to only six or seven fires and said a sanity phase of the trial is almost a certainty.