NEWPORT BEACH (CBSLA.com) — A UC Irvine professor pleaded not guilty Wednesday morning to 10 arson charges related to a a series of fires and an alleged plot to attack a Irvine high school.
Rainer Klaus Reinscheid, 48, is accused of setting five fires at University High School last month, including one blaze that he allegedly set at the home of a school administrator.
Prosecutors say Reinscheid had detailed plans to kill students and administrators at the school in revenge for the disciplinary action that he believes forced his son to commit suicide.
KNX 1070’s Ed Mertz reports Deputy District Attorney Andrew Katz referred to massacres at Columbine, Aurora and Oklahoma City in his argument against bail.
“The motivation for the defendant to act upon these threats has not changed…he was caught in the act,” said Katz.
Defense Attorney Ron Cordova dismissed Katz’s argument, saying any writings by Reinscheid were little more than grief therapy.
“This is an angry soul, speaking out, crying out, and in many ways engaging in a therapeutic exercise, purge it from your mind,” Cordova said.
Last week, emails from Reinscheid surfaced containing detailed elements of the plot about one week before his arrest.
Reinscheid is being held without bail and is due back in court on September 6.