WEST HOLLYWOOD—The Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office revealed that Harry Burkhart, 40, a German national was sentenced on Friday, March 23 to 33 years and four months in state prison for setting over 47 fires during the holiday season in 2011.
Burkhart was sentenced by Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge George Lomeli. He was found guilty in September 2016 of 25 counts of arson of property, 18 counts of arson of an inhabited dwelling and two counts each of possession of an incendiary device, attempted arson and arson of a structure. The defendant attempted to plead insanity, but a jury found him sane in March 2018.
Burkhart was responsible for a series fires beginning on December 30, 2011, where he sit fires under vehicles or near homes in Hollywood, Laurel Canyon, Studio City, West Hollywood and the San Fernando Valley, using various incendiary devices.
Prosecutors noted that the defendant started the fires as a means of retaliation after his mother, Dorothee Burkhart was arrested in the United States in connection with alleged fraud crimes in Germany. He was arrested in West Hollywood after his van was stopped by authorities matching the description of the suspect they were searching for. He was responsible for damage to the home of the late The Doors singer Jim Morrison.
The case was investigated by the Los Angeles Fire Department’s Arson and Counterterrorism Section, the Los Angeles Police Department, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.