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Arson suspect's mom defiant: audio released

January 11, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
The mother of a suspected serial arsonist was defiant in a Los Angeles courtroom, where she was fighting extradition to Germany. Eyewitness News obtained the audiotaped recordings from the court appearance.

During Dorothee Burkhart's fourth federal court appearance on Tuesday, she finally agreed to accept a court-appointed attorney. That means that the formal extradition process can finally get under way.

But Burkhart made several outbursts and made it very clear that she intends on fighting her extradition.

Before court was officially in session, Burkhart started to read from a prepared statement. She said that she had been following her case on local television, and seemed offended by her depiction in courtroom illustrations.

She said she was being made to look like a witch and threatened to sue anyone who portrayed her in a negative light.

She was eventually forcibly removed from the courtroom, only to return about 10 minutes later when court was actually in session.

Burkhart is wanted on fraud charges in Germany.

Her son, Harry Burkhart, is accused of setting dozens of fires that terrorized Los Angeles over New Year's weekend.

Dorothee Burkhart once again said in court that her son was mentally ill and not capable of setting the fires, and she repeated her earlier claims that she and her son are victims of a neo-Nazi conspiracy.

"If you send me to Germany, I can't fight against anything. I will be killed," she said in court.

She was ordered held without bail, and at the end of the proceedings had to be escorted out of the courtroom.

Dorothee Burkhart will be back in federal court on Jan. 25 when the official extradition papers from Germany are expected to arrive.

Harry Burkhart is expected in L.A. County Superior Court on Jan. 24 for arraignment on 37 counts of arson. He remains behind bars, with his bail set at $2.8 million.

See photos of the fire damage in Hollywood and North Hollywood.


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