9/11, Crime

Harvard Law Grad Brian Schroeder Pleads Not Guilty to Halloween Hijinks

brian schroeder halloween photo.jpgOn Halloween, a Sidley Austin-bound Harvard Law School grad celebrated by setting fire to a chapel holding remains from 9/11. His St. Patrick’s Day was less festive.

Yesterday, Brian Schroeder, who is no longer Sidley Austin-bound, appeared in criminal court and pleaded not guilty to arson and burglary.

According to court documents reviewed by DNA Info, Schroeder says he partied “through the night” on Ludlow Street in the Lower East Side, then walked two miles to set fire to the chapel on East 30th Street between 5 and 7 a.m.

Schroeder, 27, who graduated from Harvard Law School in 2009 and had reportedly taken Sidley’s pro bono deferral package, turned himself in to police the day of the fire. He may have set fire to the chapel, but not to his legal career. Though Sidley immediately rescinded his offer, he’s since found a job.

So what is his defense strategy — and his new employment?

At the time of the incident, police said that Schroeder had snuck into the chapel and set the fire on a drunken dare. Schroeder’s lawyer, Carter Ledyard & Milburn partner Alan Lewis, says his client was “profoundly intoxicated,” and that he did this in a drunken dream.

From the Associated Press:

Attorney Alan Lewis told a Manhattan judge Wednesday that Brian Schroeder “has very limited memories of being inside” the weatherproof tent where the city has stored the remains of unidentified victims.

Prosecutors say Schroeder told police it felt like an adventure and that he thought he was dreaming as he scaled a fence and set fire to mementos and benches in Memorial Park on Oct. 31.

According to the New York Daily News, the Texas native will remain free on $3,000 bail, but is on “island arrest.”

Who would want to leave Manhattan anyway?

Amazingly, despite his notorious nocturnal activities, Schroeder has managed to find a job. According to DNA Info, he’s been hired by a nonprofit.

Even in this tough job market, an HLS degree can work miracles.

Attorney Brian Schroeder pleads not guilty to burglary in torching of 9/11 chapel [New York Daily News]
Lawyer: Man drunk during fire at 9/11 remains site [Associated Press]
Harvard Grad ‘Profoundly’ Drunk Before 9/11 Chapel Fire, Lawyer Says [DNA Info]

Earlier: Harvard Law Grad Sets Fire to 9/11 Chapel (and His Future Legal Career?)
Sidley Austin Rescinds Brian Schroeder’s Job Offer
Sidley Austin’s Plans for 2010 Law School Grads (Plus another testimonial about Brian Schroeder.)

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