Remember that Harvard Law School grad who "doesn't remember" allegedly setting fire to the chapel that houses remains of unidentified victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks? Brian Schroeder was back in court yesterday begging for mercy, which prosecutors are not inclined to give. Assistant DA Lucy Lang told Justice Rena Uviller said she'd only consider a plea deal that includes a minimum of 1-to-3 years in prison and $25,000 in restitution, the Daily News reports. Lang also went into detail about the appalling act of arson, which took place over the course of two hours.
Prosecutors say Schroeder built a bonfire in the Manhattan chapel out of photos and mementos of people killed in the WTC attacks. "For two hours the defendant meticulously added every photograph, letter and memento to his fire," Lang said yesterday. "What he left behind was a symbol of disrespect and dishonor for the dead." She dismissed Schroeder's claim that he was too drunk to remember what he did, and reminded the judge that Schroeder had described in detail some of his actions during the October 31st incident.
But Schroeder's lawyer insists his client was "profoundly intoxicated" during the arson, and again suggested that maybe someone slipped Schroeder a mickey. ("It felt like an adventure, and I thought I was dreaming," Schroeder later told cops.) How Schroeder even got into the chapel, which is normally open only to relatives of 9/11 victims, remains a mystery. Schroeder, who's pleaded not guilty to the charges of arson and reckless endangerment, faces up to 14 years in prison if the case goes to trial and he's convicted. He'll be back in court on November 3rd to hear a plea deal offer from the judge.
So, on the one hand, Schroeder allegedly committed a heinous act of desecration that united all New Yorkers in utter revulsion. On the other hand, he went to Harvard, so we probably shouldn't expect him to be held accountable for anything.