Bond hearing scheduled for Toomer's Corner tree fire suspect

AUBURN, AL (WTVM) - The attorney representing the man accused of setting one of the famous oak trees on fire in September filed a motion for her client to be permitted to return home to his native Germany.

The attorney for Jochen Wiest, Margaret Y. Brown, filed a motion on Nov. 13 to reduce, amend or modify the conditions of his release so he can be with his family. The motion says that Wiest is unable to support himself or his family as he awaits his case to be formally presented to a grand jury.

According to the motion filed in Lee County, AL District Court, Wiest being unable to work may make in him violation of his visa, which permitted his entry into the U.S. The motion says that Wiest would be willing to sign a waiver of extradition in agreement with the U.S.-Germany treaty if necessary, in order to ensure his appearance in court subsequent to his indictment.

Wiest, 29, was identified as the person who, officials say, set fire to the draped toilet paper at one of the newly-planted oak trees at Auburn's famed Toomer's Corner on Sept. 25.

Wiest was charged with first-degree criminal mischief, a felony, in addition to the desecration of a venerated object and public intoxication charges.

Wiest was in the United States on a work visa but has now been ordered to not leave the state. Wiest worked at Baxter Manufacturing Plant in Opelika. He planned to leave the U.S. to return to his native Germany on Friday and return in late November.

Wiest's bond hearing was scheduled for Nov. 30 at 9 a.m.

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