Today, Rainer Klaus Reinscheid, a former UCI professor, pleaded guilty to several counts of felony arson of another’s property, forest land, structure, and attempted arson.
Reinscheid was convicted Tuesday of setting fires at that campus, the home of a school administrator and a local park. These charges stem from a March 2012 incident in which Reinscheid wrote emails saying he planned to kill students and administrators at the Irvine high school his son attended.
In March 2012, officials at University High disciplined Reinscheid’s 14-year-old son for a minor theft-related incident. The teenager committed suicide the next day at Mason Park Preserve in Irvine.
After the boy’s death, from July 4 to July 24, 2012, Reinscheid wandered between University High, Mason Park Preserve and a school administrator’s home, committing six arsons and three attempted arsons by lighting various objects on fire, among them newspapers, brush and vegetation, a book and a plastic porch chair, authorities said. Police caught Reinscheid on July 24 as he was trying to start a fire at the preserve. He later posted $50,000 bail and was released that day. Irvine police continued investigating and last July 27, detectives found emails on his cellphone, detailing his stated goal to burn down University High, commit sexual assaults, buy firearms and gun down school officials and students, before killing himself. Reinscheid was arrested that evening.
The former professor faces three to 18 years of prison and is being held without bail, according to Orange County district attorney’s officials. Reinscheid, 49, is scheduled to be sentenced August 1.
A criminal conviction is costly. You may serve time in prison, you may have your license revoked, your career and family will be disrupted, and your record will be stained by such convictions. Our goal at Brower and Associates is to provide an aggressive and comprehensive defense to those accused of a crime throughout Orange County. If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime, contact Brower and Associates today.