Suspected LA Arsonist Faces Life

Harry Burkhart could serve as many as 341 years ... or more
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 5, 2012 10:47 AM CST
Suspected Los Angeles Arsonist Harry Burkhart Faces Life in Prison
In this courtroom sketch, Harry Burkhart, a native of Germany who has been living in Los Angeles and is suspected in a series of arson fires, is supported by guards as he appears to faint.   (AP Photo/Mona Shafer Edwards)

Suspected arsonist Harry Burkhart reportedly proclaimed "I hate America," when Los Angeles police apprehended him—and it looks like America, or, at least, its prosecutors, aren't too keen on him, either. Burkhart faces 37 felony counts of arson; if convicted on all counts, that could translate into a sentence of up to 341 years, reports the LA Times. In court papers filed yesterday, prosecutors argue that Burkhart's alleged four-day spree was "motivated by his rage against Americans."

The Times notes that the 24-year-old looked "disheveled and distracted" and his body was "slumping and twitching" during his brief court appearance yesterday, in which bail was set at $2.85 million; prosecutors had wanted no bail. The deputy DA also noted that those 37 counts relate to just 12 of the 52 suspected arsons, meaning they're "less than half of the charges we plan to file." German prosecutors yesterday revealed that they were apparently investigating the same Harry Burkhart, age 24, in connection with a suspected arson at a home belonging to his family, located about an hour north of Frankfurt. (More Harry Burkhart stories.)

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