NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (August 8, 2012)-- University of California Irvine pharmaceutical sciences professor Rainer Reinscheid was in court Wednesday for arraignment on charges stemming from fires that authorities say he set in revenge against a high school where his 14-year-old son was disciplined before committing suicide.
Orange County prosecutors announced Wednesday that he’ll face several additional counts.
He now is charged with eight counts of arson, one count of attempted arson, and one misdemeanor count of obstructing an officer.
Authorities say Reinscheid committed small arson fires targeting the school, an assistant principal's home and the park where the son hanged himself last March.
In the course of the investigation, authorities discovered e-mails in which they say Reinscheid plotted mass murder and destruction of the school.
They say he also had searched the Internet for information on guns, fertilizer and auto explosions before his arrest.
They said Wednesday he had conducted 40 to 60 such Internet searches on his home computer since March, when his 14-year-old son committed suicide.
Deputy District Attorney Andrew Katz said the searches raised authorities' concerns that Reinscheid would follow through on the graphic e-mails that laid out plans to shoot students, and administrators and burn down the school.
If convicted, Reinscheid could be sentenced to as much as 21 years and eight months in prison