Convicted Los Angeles arsonist's mother inserts herself in court process from overseas

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A second trial is underway for convicted arsonist Harry Burkhart. His mother is actively involved in the process from thousands of miles away. (KABC)

A second trial is underway to decide whether convicted arsonist Harry Burkhart was sane when he set a string of fires that terrorized Hollywood.

Burkhart's mother is actively involved in the case from thousands of miles away. Dorothee Burkhart is going to extremes to free her son. She rejects the evidence presented by attorneys, the trial process, the court and her son's own public defender.

She sent video to Eyewitness News showing her on the phone with the public defender. In the video, she can be heard telling the defender, "My son did not do any fires. You have to go to the jail. You understand?"

MORE: Evidence proves Harry Burkhart was behind 40+ SoCal fires, prosecutor says

Dorothee Burkhart sent the video along with other materials to us from her home in Berlin, Germany. Though she was deported from the U.S., she has effectively stalled her son's trial regarding his mental state.

The question is -- was he insane when he set over 40 fires across Hollywood and adjacent areas at the end of 2011? Or were the fires calculated acts of revenge against the U.S. after immigration agents arrested his fugitive mother.

"He needs me as a supervisor each time, any minute, to tell him what to do," Dorothee Burkhart is heard saying in the video.

MORE: Suspected Los Angeles arsonist tries to get deported mother's help during trial

For the past year, Dorothee Burkhart has told her son to reject a plea deal that would potentially reduce his time and allow treatment at a state hospital.

According to the court, she has also intimidated expert witnesses who would have helped in his defense to the point they will not testify. Her objections don't end there. Among all the documents she sent us, there are multiple appeals to the White House.

She continues to plead for her son's immediate release, claiming that her son cannot survive if put in a general population of inmates.

"He has no social skills. He don't know how to talk with people...He is autistic. He has a broken gene," she said in the video.

Dorothee Burkhart intends on pressuring the court no matter what the jury decides.
Related Topics:
arsonarson investigationcourtfiretrialHollywoodWest HollywoodLos AngelesLos Angeles County
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