New facts have arisen in the bizarre case of LA arson suspect Harry Burkhart and his mother, Dorothee Burkhart. The 24-year-old Burkhart terrified the city of Los Angeles and became an infamous figure after he was arrested in dozens of Hollywood arsons that left multiple torched buildings and vehicles and caused millions of dollars in damage. The suspected arsonist appears to have gone on an arson spree in response to his perception that his mother was being wrongfully deported by United States immigration officials.
Dorothee Burkhart's case, however, is not merely a simple deportation case: The federal complaint against her describes a lengthy list of fraud accusations from Germany. Investigations have uncovered not only the Los Angeles arson allegations, but also arsons in Germany and possibly Canada. Berkhart is suspected of starting the fire in Germany at a house belonging to his family. There are also allegations that Dorothee Burkhart escaped from police custody through a German hospital window when her handcuffs were removed so she could use restroom facilities. She frequently blamed others for her troubles and claimed that fascists were trying to kill her and her son.
Arson suspect Burkhart's anti-American outburst at a recent detention hearing for his mother was noted by a deputy U.S. Marshal, who recognized Burkhart after police began circulating a video showing the man wanted in the arsons.
Regarding Dorothee Burkhart, records of her legal troubles date back over ten years starting from her renting apartments in Germany but not returning security deposits. She continued in that fraudulent behavior several years later and also didn't pay about $10,000 for a 2004 breast surgery according to German authorities.
It appears that this mother-son team moved from one country to the next staying, until now, one step ahead of the law.
Arson is considered an extremely serious crime, especially in this case given the significant damage and potential for causing death and injury. Los Angeles and Southern California prosecutors vigorously prosecute defendants accused of arson, especially considering the potential or actual threat to life and property often involved in arson cases,
California law prohibits the willful and malicious setting of fire to the property of another as well as criminalizing recklessly setting fire to the property of another. If an individual is accused of setting fire to his own property, he or she can only be convicted if the purpose was fraudulent, as in the case of attempting to collect insurance proceeds, or if the fire injures another person or his or her property.
While Arson specifically deals with the setting of fire to another's property, if a death should occur or an intent to cause death, an individual can be charged with murder or attempted murder.
If you are being investigated or have been charges with a serious felony such as this, you may benefit yourself greatly by contacting a Los Angeles Arson Defense Attorney. David Welch is that attorney and will be happy to answer any questions or address any issue that you may have.