It was images from a security camera that enabled authorities to arrest a suspect in the wave of arson fires that struck Los Angeles over the New Year’s weekend.
Yet now that they have their suspect, a judge has forbidden reporters from photographing him in the courtroom, even going as far as ordering them to delete their images.
One image was so revealing that it included a portion of the suspect’s bicep.
Harry Burkhart, a 24-year-old German national, apparently gave himself away when he exploded in a fit of rage during an extradition hearing for his mother, who has her own legal issues.
According to the Los Angeles Times:
Burkhart was evicted by federal marshals after an expletive-laced diatribe against Americans and the U.S. government. A federal official who witnessed his tirade recognized him in security camera images from one of the weekend fires.
In the court documents filed in Los Angeles, prosecutors disclosed that sheriff’s detectives searching the Hollywood apartment rented by Burkhart and his mother found newspaper clippings about the Los Angeles fires as well as German newspaper articles about other suspected arsons in Frankfurt.
Judge Kalra prohibited the media from taking video or photographs of Burkhart after prosecutors said investigators were continuing to interview possible witnesses. A Times photographer took photos of Burkhart’s attorney, who was standing directly in front of his client. But Kalra ordered that those images be deleted because two images included part of the defendant’s