Report: Toomer's Corner arsonist pleads guilty to all charges
According to a report from AL.com, the Toomer’s Corner arsonist from this past September has agreed to plead guilty to all charges.
Perpetrator Jochen Wiest — a native of Germany — set fire to Toomer’s Corner following the win over LSU. He was caught on surveillance footage, and was charged with first-degree criminal mischief.
A bond hearing took place on Wednesday. Local authorities would not return the German passport back to Wiest. They wanted to ensure that Wiest would not flee the country.
Lee County District Court judge Steven Speakman released this statement:
“I fear the possibility that (Wiest) returns to Germany and … could stay in Germany and simply forfeit the money (for damages). I am very hesitant to return the passport under those circumstances. Given that we’ve got an application to plead guilty on information I do believe that it won’t be too long before a plea hearing is set (in Circuit Court) – sometime in the month of January, I would expect.
Therefore, given that we can’t guarantee – rock solid guarantee – the return of (Wiest), I’m not going to return the passport at this time.”
The damages to the tree are estimated to equal a bit more than $20,000.