Mistrial declared in sanity phase of Hollywood arsonist trial

Harry Burkhart, 29, is shown during his sanity court hearing on Thursday, Sept. 15, 2016. (KABC)

A mistrial has been declared in the sanity phase of the trial of Harry Burkhart, accused of setting more than 40 fires in Hollywood and the San Fernando Valley.

Jurors already convicted Burkhart of setting 49 fires. But they could not reach agreement on whether he was sane at the time.

The deadlock means it is likely that the sanity phase of Burkhart's trial will be repeated with a new jury.

This was the second trial for Burkhart, a 29-year-old undocumented German immigrant, to determine if he was sane during the crimes. His defense contends that he was insane when he lit the fires in carports and occupied apartments throughout Los Angeles in 2011-12.

The initial trial lasted six weeks and resulted in Burkhart's conviction on Sept. 1.

Burkhart is expected back in court on Oct. 13.
Related Topics:
newsarsonfiretrialHollywoodSan Fernando ValleyLos AngelesLos Angeles County
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