Convicted arsonist Harry Burkhart found sane when he set 50 fires around Hollywood

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Arsonist Harry Burkhart, who set at least 50 fires around Hollywood in 2011 and 2012, was found by a jury to have been sane at the time of the crimes (KABC)

A convicted arsonist responsible for setting at least 50 fires across Hollywood and surrounding areas in 2011 and 2012 was found to have been sane at the time of the crimes.

The jury came to its decision Monday morning at the end of Harry Burkhart's second sanity trial. The jury's decision means Burkhart faces prison time as opposed to time in a state mental hospital.

MORE: LA arsonist's mental history divulged during trial
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The mental health history of a serial arsonist was lengthy and prosecutors argued he knew what he was doing, while his defense believes he is insane.



In 2016, a judge declared a mistrial in the sanity phase of the trial after jurors became deadlocked on Burkhart's state of mind.

During the trial, public defender Steve Schoenfield said Burkhart's mental history shows that his client is severely mentally ill and developmentally disabled, emphasizing that Burkhart was in a psychiatric hospital just four months before the arsons.

However, prosecutors countered that Burkhart knew exactly what he was doing and that he was angry at the United States after his mother was deported.

"Revenge is what the defendant wanted, and it's what he got," said prosecutor Joy Roberts.

The prosecution went on to say that the way Burkhart set nearly 50 fires in and around Hollywood six years ago shows calculation and premeditation.

They believe he methodically bought fire-starting materials and chose his targets, that he was aware he was doing something wrong because of the care he took to avoid getting caught.

Burkhart is scheduled to be sentenced March 23.
Related Topics:
trialarsoncourt casearrestfireHollywoodDowntown LALos Angeles CountyLos Angeles
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