WEST HOLLYWOOD—Harry Burkhart, 29, was found guilty on Thursday, September 1 for his involvement in setting a series of fires over several days during the holiday season back in 2011. Burkhart, a native of Germany was found guilty 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.
According to a press release from the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office, jurors deliberated for less than a day before delivering their verdict. The suspect set over 12 fires beginning on December 30, 2011 under cars and homes utilizing incendiary devices.
Deputy District Attorney Sean Carney with the Arson and Explosives Section argued that Burkhart was seeking vengeance after his mother was arrested in the United States in connection to alleged crimes committed in Germany. In the days following, the defendant set over 40 fires in Hollywood, the San Fernando Valley and West Hollywood.
Burkhart was back in court on Tuesday, September 6 to begin the sanity phase of his trial. He could face up to 88 years and 8 months in state prison.
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.