Orange County News

UCI professor planned killings at son's school, set 5 fires, DA says

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A University of California, Irvine, professor faces more than 12 years in prison for allegedly committing a series of arsons in an act of revenge after his son committed suicide, authorities said Tuesday.

Prosecutors said Rainer Klaus Reinscheid, 48, started three fires at University High School in Irvine in July. His 14-year-old son was a student there and had been disciplined before he committed suicide at neighboring Mason Park Preserve, prosecutors said. Reinscheid was also accused of starting a fire at the park and at the home of a school administrator.

Reinscheid was arrested last week when officers allegedly spotted him trying to set a fire at the park. He was released on $50,000 bail.

After his release, investigators said they discovered emails by Reinscheid detailing plans to buy guns, burn down the high school, commit sexual assaults, murder students and school officials and then kill himself. Police arrested him that same night, Friday.

Reinscheid, an associate professor of pharmacology science of 12 years, was charged with five counts of arson, one count of attempted arson and a misdemeanor count of resisting or obstructing a police officer.

Investigators said they believe Reinscheid acted alone and was the only suspect in the case. None of the fires caused serious damage.

At Reinscheid's first court appearance Tuesday, prosecutors said they planned to ask a judge that he be denied bail given the violence detailed in the emails. His arraignment was continued until August.

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