UC Irvine Professor Accused Of Arson, Death Threats Faces Additional Charge
NEWPORT BEACH (CBSLA.com) — The UC Irvine professor accused of setting a series of fires as a retaliatory measure after his teenaged son committed suicide, is expected to face an additional arson charge Thursday.
Rainer Klaus Reinscheid, who also allegedly made elaborate plans to kill administrators and students at that son’s high school, will be charged with setting an addition fire last summer, according to an Orange County prosecutor.
Reinscheid, a 49-year-old resident of Irvine, also faces an additional sentencing enhancement for allegedly using an accelerant, said Deputy District Attorney Andrew Katz.
Reinscheid was previously charged with several arson counts including three involving land and forestry, two regarding private property and one count each involving an inhabited residence, and an attempted arson.
He’s also charged with a misdemeanor count of resisting or obstructing an officer.
Reinscheid — who worked at UC Irvine’s pharmaceutical science department, pleaded not guilty on Aug. 15 last year.
The professor has been held without bail since investigators allegedly uncovered emails on his cell phone that outlined plans to burn down University High School, commit sexual assault and kill administrators and students — and as many as 200 people — before killing himself.
Investigators have reportedly uncovered evidence about Reinscheid’s online searches for info about auto explosions, explosives, fertilizers and weapons.
Reinscheid’s then 14-year-old son committed suicide in Irvine’s Mason Park Preserve last March, after being disciplined at school, Katz said.
The professor’s attorney, Ron Cordova, has said his client should be able to post bail because the cell phone messages were not something he planned on carrying out.
“It wasn’t a plan or a blueprint of conduct, but simply the musings of a very anguished soul, a man who lost his soul and released his anger … unfortunately, all human beings are capable of writing down in moments of anguish,” Cordova has said.