Dad accused of plotting to kill students, Principal at son's school
POSTED: Wednesday, August 1, 2012 - 10:30am
UPDATED: Wednesday, August 1, 2012 - 10:34am
Santa Ana, CA (KTLA) — 48-year old college professor is accused of plotting to murder students and administrators at his son's former high school in Irvine.
Rainer Klaus Reinscheid, a 48-year old professor at the UC, Irvine, is charged with setting five fires on the campus of University High School, in Mason Park Preserve, and at a school administrator?s home.
The crimes allegedly began in March after Reinscheid?s 14-year-old son, who attended University High School in Irvine, was disciplined at school.
The teenager later committed suicide in Mason Park Preserve in Irvine.
Toxicology tests showed there was no trace of drugs or alcohol in the boy's body.
The official cause of death is asphyxiation due to hanging by suicide.
The Orange County Register reported the death when it happened.
Several OCRegister.com readers at that time stated or implied in the comment section of the articles that they knew the boy and that he had been a victim of bullying.
Irvine police, however, did not find evidence of bullying, Lt. Julia Engen said.
During the investigation into the arson's that followed the boy's suicide, detectives discovered a series of disturbing e-mails on Reinscheid?s cell phone.
According to prosecutors, Reinscheid sent e-mails to his wife and one to himself in April 2012 describing in detail his plan to burn down University High School, commit sexual assaults, purchase firearms and murder school officials and students, and then kill himself.
Following the discovery of these e-mails and based on linking the defendant to add two felony counts of arson of another?s property, two felony counts of arson of a structure, one felony count of arson of an inhabited residence, one felony count of attempted arson, and one misdemeanor count of resisting or obstructing an officer.
If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 12 years and eight months in state prison.
In 2008, Reinscheid co-authored a study identifying the brain mechanism that switches off traumatic feelings associated with bad memories.
In theory, the discovery would lead to the development of drugs to treat panic disorders.
"Taking part of this study is that we have discovered a completely new process that regulates the adverse responses to bad memories,? said Rainer Reinscheid, pharmacology and pharmaceutical sciences associate professor at UCI. ?These findings can help the development of new drugs to treat conditions in which people are haunted by persistent fears, such as posttraumatic stress disorder or other panic disorders.?
The study appeared in the July 31, 2008 issue of Neuron.