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California professor gets 14 1/3 years in prison for arson spree

Aug. 22, 2013 at 8:05 PM

SANTA ANA, Calif., Aug. 22 (UPI) -- A California professor was sentenced to 14 years and four months in prison Thursday for going on an arson spree after his teenage son committed suicide.

Rainer Klaus Reinscheid, 49, a University of California, Irvine, associate professor who had pleaded guilty last month to several charges stemming from the 2012 blazes, will now have a restitution hearing Nov. 15, KABC-TV, Los Angeles, reported.

The sentencing range for his crimes was three to 18 years in prison. Prosecutors sought the maximum.

Reinscheid and his attorney had sought leniency, contending the academician was "a man suffering" after his 14-year-old son took his own life earlier last year.

Reinscheid had apologized to the court Tuesday and asked for mercy.

"I lost my son, and then I lost myself," Reinscheid told Prickett. "My grief was overwhelming. It felt like the end of the world to me."

Reinscheid's targets, however, asked the court to impose a stiff sentence.

"We need you to help us return to work with less fear each day," one said.

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