|For Immediate Release
Case # 12HF2145
January 16, 2013
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
OCDA TO FILE ADDITIONAL ARSON CHARGE AGAINST MAN FOR SETTING FIRES AT SON’S HIGH SCHOOL, ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL’S HOME, AND NEARBY PARK
NEWPORT BEACH – The Orange County District Attorney’s Office (OCDA) will file an additional arson charge tomorrow against a man previously charged with committing a series of arsons at a high school, home, and park. The defendant is being held without bail after the Irvine Police Department (IPD) discovered e-mails by the defendant in July 2012 detailing plans to murder students and administrators at the high school.
Rainer Klaus Reinscheid, 49, Irvine, will be charged tomorrow, Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013, in an amended complaint with one additional felony count of arson of a structure with sentencing enhancements for the use of an accelerant. He was previously charged in July and August 2012 with three felony counts of arson of forestlands, two felony counts of arson of another’s property, two felony counts of arson of a structure, one felony count of arson of an inhabited residence, one felony count of attempted arson, and one misdemeanor count of resisting or obstructing an officer, and a sentencing enhancement for the use of an accelerant. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 24 years and four months in state prison.
Reinscheid will be arraigned on the amended complaint and face a preliminary hearing tomorrow, Jan. 17, 2013, at 9:00 a.m. in Department H-1, Harbor Justice Center, Newport Beach.
At the time of the crime, Reinscheid was a professor at the University of California, Irvine.
In March 2012, Reinscheid’s 14-year-old son, who attended University High School in Irvine, was disciplined at school for a minor theft-related incident. The following day, the defendant’s son committed suicide in Mason Park Preserve in Irvine.
Between July 4, 2012, and July 24, 2012, Reinscheid is accused of committing nine arsons and one attempted arson by lighting various objects on fire including newspapers, brush and vegetation, a book, and a plastic porch chair. He is accused of using fireplace logs in some cases as an accelerant. Reinscheid is accused of committing these arsons on the campus of University High School, in Mason Park Preserve, and at a school administrator’s home.
At approximately 12:40 a.m. on July 24, 2012, Reinscheid is accused of attempting to set a fire in Mason Park Preserve using newspaper and lighter fluid. Officers from IPD, who were conducting increased patrols of the park due to the recent arsons, observed the defendant and arrested him near the scene. When contacted by officers, Reinscheid is accused of refusing to comply with their orders to stop and attempting to resist arrest. Reinscheid posted $50,000 bail and was released from custody that day. IPD continued their investigation.