NEWPORT BEACH (CBSLA.com) — A preliminary hearing is scheduled to be held Tuesday for a UC Irvine professor accused of setting a series of fires as a retaliatory measure after his teenage son committed suicide.
Rainer Klaus Reinscheid, who allegedly made elaborate plans to kill administrators and students at University High School, will be charged with setting an additional fire last summer, according to an Orange County prosecutor.
Reinscheid’s 14-year-old son committed suicide in Irvine’s Mason Park Preserve last March, after being disciplined at school, according to Deputy District Attorney Andrew Katz.
Reinscheid, 49, of Irvine, 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, 2012.
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 as many as 200 administrators and students before taking his own life.
Investigators also reportedly discovered Reinscheid’s online searches for information about auto explosions, explosives, fertilizers and weapons.
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.