• BREAKING NEWS ABC shows live and on-demand -- Download the WATCH ABC app!

UC Irvine professor sentenced to 14 years for arson

Rainer Klaus Reinscheid listens to a victim's testimony during a sentencing hearing on Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013.
August 22, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
A University of California-Irvine professor was sentenced Thursday to 14 years and four months in prison for committing arson.

Irvine resident Rainer Reinscheid, 49, set fires at his son's high school, assistant principal's home and at a nearby park.

He pleaded guilty to a court offer July 9, 2013, to one felony count of arson of another's property, three felony counts of arson of forestland, two felony counts of arson of a structure, three felony counts of attempted arson, one misdemeanor count of resisting or obstructing an officer, and sentencing enhancements for the use of an accelerant.

Reinscheid is scheduled for a restitution hearing on Nov. 15.

Reinscheid pleaded guilty to setting a series of fires between July 4 and July 24 of last year at University High School in Irvine, the administrator's home and at the park where his 14-year-old son hanged himself after being disciplined for allegedly stealing from the school.

Emails seized from his account addressed to himself and his wife outlined a graphic plan to attack the school campus and burn down the school before killing himself. No charges were filed in connection with the emails, but one of his victims, the assistant principal at University High School, said his life will never be the same after Reinscheid set three separate fires at the victim's house last year.

Reinscheid apologized in court to the victims Tuesday, saying he blames his irrational behavior on grief and frustration following the suicide. He faces up to 18 years in prison in his sentencing.


Load Comments