[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Santa Clarita CA
Today in
S.C.V. History
March 21
1837 - Ysabel Varela born in Placerville; became second wife (and widow) of SCV landowner Ygnacio del Valle. [story]

[L.A. County DA] – The man suspected of setting more than four dozen fires in Hollywood and West Hollywood over the New Year’s weekend was charged by the District Attorney’s Office today with multiple counts of arson.

Harry Burkhart, 24 (dob 7-12-1987), is scheduled to appear for arraignment Wednesday afternoon in Superior Court Department 30, fifth floor, Foltz Criminal Justice Center, 210 W. Temple St., Los Angeles.

“After reviewing the available evidence, we filed 28 counts of arson of property and nine counts of arson of an inhabited structure,” said District Attorney Steve Cooley. “The current charges relate to arson fires at 12 locations in Hollywood, West Hollywood and Sherman Oaks between Dec. 30 and Jan. 2.

“The complaint also alleges that the arson was caused by use of a device designed to accelerate the fire,” he said. “If found true, the allegation could mean additional custody time for the defendant.

“The investigation of the 52 fires believed connected to this defendant is not over. Appropriate action will be taken as further evidence is presented for our review.”

Deputy District Attorney Sean Carney of the Target Crimes Division asked the court in case No. BA392381 to hold Burkhart without bail.

From Friday, Dec. 30 until Burkhart’s arrest early Monday, the string of fires terrorized residents of Hollywood and the Westside. No deaths or serious injuries were reported, but property damage to homes and automobiles was in the millions of dollars. Most of the fires were started in automobiles. In many cases, flames spread to structures.

After Burkhart’s arrest by a reserve Sheriff’s deputy in West Hollywood, the defendant’s minivan and residence were searched and evidence recovered, Cooley said. Burkhart, who travels on a German passport but purportedly was born in Chechnya, was staying with his mother in Hollywood. She currently is in federal custody in connection on a German provisional warrant for her arrest on fraud-related crimes. Her immigration/extradition cases are pending in federal court.

The District Attorney noted that it was federal authorities who first identified Burkhart as the possible suspect after the news media aired and published video of a man leaving the scene of one of the fires. Burkhart had attended his mother’s federal immigration hearing in Los Angeles on Dec. 29.

Cooley praised the hard work of the task force formed after 19 of the fires broke out on Friday, Dec. 30. Los Angeles police and city fire fighters were joined by Sheriff’s deputies and county fire fighters in the effort. Federal ATF agents also joined in the investigation. Cooley said prosecutors from the District Attorney’s Target Crimes Division worked closely with the task force from the beginning of the investigation.

The District Attorney added that if convicted, Burkhart faces a prison sentence.

“Arson of an inhabited structure is a violent felony punishable by state prison, not a state prison offense punishable by county jail,” Cooley said.

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

No Comments

    Leave a Comment

    Tuesday, Mar 20, 2018
    The Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a motion aimed at preventing foster youth from becoming entangled in the juvenile justice system, and ensuring supportive care for those do.
    Monday, Mar 19, 2018
    The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department is expanding its S.H.A.R.E. Program in an effort to reduce reports of hate crimes and hate incidents throughout the county.
    Monday, Mar 19, 2018
    Los Angeles County Interim Health Officer Dr. Jeffrey Gunzenhauser has extended a county beach use advisory through Tuesday night at 10 due to runoff from the recent rainfall.
    Monday, Mar 19, 2018
    The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors invites you to join us in celebrating Public Defense Day today to honor the 55th anniversary of the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision Gideon v. Wainwright.
    Monday, Mar 19, 2018
    As Metro begins to put together its transportation budget for the 2019 fiscal year, effective July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019, the agency seeks input from the public to help set priorities.

    Keep Up With Our Facebook
    Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
    Los Angeles County Fire Department firefighters doused a house fire in the 24700 block of Chestnut Street in Newhall Wednesday morning.
    Firefighters Douse House Blaze in Newhall
    The city of Santa Clarita is urging residents and businesses, specifically those living near the recent burn areas of Sand Fire in the Sand Canyon area, to take extra precautions and stay alert as heavy rains fall this week.
    City Urges Residents to Take Precautions During Storm
    1837 - Ysabel Varela born in Placerville; became second wife (and widow) of SCV landowner Ygnacio del Valle. [story]
    The William S. Hart High School Wind Ensemble & Concert Band, as well as the Placerita Junior High School Advanced Band will be holding a Rich Musical Heritage Concert, Thursday, March 22 at 7:00 p.m.
    March 22: Rich Musical Heritage Concert
    If you think you have the right stuff, Blue Star Ranch is looking for volunteers.
    Blue Star Ranch Seeking Volunteers
    Comic books, comic strips, graphic novels and web comics often provide an escape from reality.
    CSUN Professor Establishes Comic Studies Society
    From Oklahoma! to The Sound of Music, American composer Richard Rodgers forever changed the face of Broadway musicals, giving them stories and making them oh, so hum-able.
    The Soraya to Celebrate Composer Richard Rodgers
    The Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a motion aimed at preventing foster youth from becoming entangled in the juvenile justice system, and ensuring supportive care for those do.
    Supes Approve Motion Preventing ‘Dual Status,’ ‘Crossover’ Foster Youth
    On Friday, March 23, CalArts alum Travis Wilkerson’s (Film/Video MFA 01) latest documentary, Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun? screens at CalArts' Bijou theater.
    March 23: CalArts Screening ‘Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun?’
    LOS ANGELES – As part of the team’s continuing celebration of 60 seasons in Los Angeles, the Dodgers will pay tribute to one of the most dramatic moments in baseball history by permanently marking a commemorative seat located in the area of the Right Field Pavilion where Kirk Gibson’s historic walk-off home run landed during Game 1 of the 1988 World Series. The “Kirk Gibson seat” is the first seat at Dodger Stadium to be marked in tribute to a historic event.
    Dodgers Honor Kirk Gibson Homerun with Seat in Right Field Pavilion
    Family Promise of Santa Clarita Valley, a non-profit that mobilizes community faith groups in the SCV to assist homeless families, recently announced that after six years at its current Resource Center, they are in need of finding a new site for its offices in order to provide services to homeless families.
    Local Non-Profit Seeking New Office Site
    Adonna Khare will demonstrate carbon art at the April 16 meeting of the Santa Clarita Artists Association (SCAA). This event is free, open to the public and meets at 6:30 p.m. at Barnes & Noble, 23630 Valencia Blvd.
    April 16: Carbon Art by Adonna Khare
    Santa Claritans will have an early spring celebration at the “Touches of Spring”, an art show featuring Zony Gordon, an award-winning local artist who will be showing from March 12- April 30, 2018 at the Art & Photo Gallery of Fast Frame in Valencia.
    March 24: Zony Gordon Artist Reception
    The ARTree Studio 2 will be holding an art exhibit by artist Six, called Food Memories beginning Friday, March 23 with an opening night reception from 6:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.
    March 23-25: Food Memories Art Exhibit by Six
    Here is a list of Santa Clarita arts-related events for March 22-24:
    March 22-24: Santa Clarita Arts Calendar
    Shoppers can find all what they need to make that special Easter Brunch this year by visiting the Santa Clarita Farmers Market located at the College of the Canyons, parking lot 5 on Valencia Boulevard. The market will be open on Easter Day and runs from 8:30 a.m. to noon.
    Santa Clarita Farmers Market Open Easter Sunday
    The Triumph Foundation's Wheelchair Sports Festival will take place on Saturday, April 28 from 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. and Sunday April 29 from 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
    April 28-29: Triumph Foundation’s Wheelchair Sports Festival
    With significant rain moving across the area Tuesday through Thursday this week, there is a moderate to high risk of debris flows near recent burn areas.
    National Weather Service Warns Residents of Debris Flows as Storm Approaches
    The Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center will hold a Cyber Security: If It's Connected, It Must be Protected Presentation on Wednesday, March 21 from 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. in Rooms A1 and A2.
    March 21: Cyber Security Presentation at Senior Center
    The 2018 Spring Season Opener did not disappoint as it had drama tense moments 4 yellow cards a red card, player down with injury and the Storm settled with an even 2-2 draw.
    Tense SC Storm Season Opener Ends in 2-2 Tie
    Want to build your own social media empire, or just improve your social media presence? Learn from the best at SCV Startup Grind featuring Rachel Hollis, tonight.
    March 20: SCV Startup Grind
    This past weekend, all six William S. Hart district color guards participated in the mid-season contest, hosted at Valencia High School and sponsored by the Winter Guard Association of Southern California.
    Hart District Color Guards Compete at Valencia High School
    (Washington, DC) - On Tuesday, Rep. Steve Knight (R-CA) and Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-NY) introduced H.R. 5337, the Accelerated Payments for Small Businesses Act of 2018.
    Knight Measure Would Speed Up Payment for Small Business Contractors
    2012 - County supervisors approve 50-year operating agreement for Placerita Canyon State Park [read]
    The city of Santa Clarita Tourism Marketing District Advisory Board's next Regular Meeting is set for Tuesday, March 20 at City Hall starting at 2 p.m.
    March 20: Tourism Marketing District Advisory Board Meeting
    The Small Business Investment Opportunity Act, sponsored by Rep. Steve Knight (R-CA) and passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in 2017, has been introduced in the U.S. Senate by a bi-partisan group of Senators.
    Knight Small Business Opportunity Act Introduced in Senate
    The city of Santa Clarita's Planning Commission will hold its next Regular Meeting at City Hall on Tuesday, March 20 starting at 6 p.m.
    March 20: Planning Commission Regular Meeting
    The Master's University freshman track and field athletes showed great promise at the Ross and Sharon Irwin Collegiate Scoring Meet at Point Loma Nazarene University on Sunday.
    TMU Track and Field Freshmen Shine at Point Loma
    During Sunday's ninth inning, Master's came out on the wrong side — of a 5-4 final score at McBean Park in Lincoln and a three-game sweep.
    TMU Baseball Squanders Grand Slam in Series Finale
    The TMU Mustangs baseball team (17-12, 10-9 in Golden State Athletic Conference) was swept 9-1 and 5-3 by NAIA No. 7 William Jessup on the road Saturday.
    Mustangs Baseball Drops Two to Jessup
    "They'll be back," TMU men's basketball team's lone senior Lawrence Russell said after a 106-104 loss to Peru State College in the first round of the NAIA Division 1 National Championship tournament Wednesday.
    TMU Men’s Basketball Team Eyes Another Run
    Chandra Subramaniam spent his first week as the new dean of California State University, Northridge’s David Nazarian College of Business and Economics learning about the job and the people he’ll be working with.
    Chandra Subramaniam is New Dean of CSUN’s Nazarian Business College
    Santa Clarita Valley students, teachers, families and supporters will gather for a "March for Our Lives" rally at Marketplace Park in Valencia on Saturday, March 24, starting at 10 a.m., to demand an end to gun violence in schools.
    March 24: SCV ‘March for Our Lives’ Rally to ‘Demand Safe Schools’
    The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department is expanding its S.H.A.R.E. Program in an effort to reduce reports of hate crimes and hate incidents throughout the county.
    LASD Expands ‘S.H.A.R.E.’ Anti-Hate Program
    Los Angeles County Interim Health Officer Dr. Jeffrey Gunzenhauser has extended a county beach use advisory through Tuesday night at 10 due to runoff from the recent rainfall.
    Beach Use Advisory Extended Through Tuesday
    'NCIS," 'Criminal Minds' and three feature films are among the productions filming in the Santa Clarita Valley March 19-25, 2018.
    ‘NCIS,’ ‘Criminal Minds,’ 3 Features Now Filming in Santa Clarita