A German national’s “rage against Americans,” triggered by his mother’s arrest last week, motivated his “campaign of terror” with dozens of fires in Hollywood and nearby communities, according to Los Angeles prosecutors.
Harry Burkhart, dressed in an anti-suicide jail gown, appeared before a Los Angeles judge Wednesday afternoon to face 37 counts of arson. The 24-year-old kept his eyes closed and remained limp during most of his hearing, requiring sheriff’s deputies to hold him up.
The district attorney called his courtroom behavior “very bizarre.”
“This defendant has engaged in a protracted campaign in which he has set, the people believe, upwards of 52 arson fires in what essentially amounts to a campaign of terror against this community,” Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Sean Carney said. “The people believe he has engaged in this conduct because he has a hatred for Americans.”