California Criminology Professor Is Charged With Arson

Maynard, professor of criminology, appears to point to the stresses of the pandemic, its link to mental illness, and the difficult task of stopping the burning before it inflicts irreparable damage. Investigators tracked Maynard’s movements using grocery stamp transactions, phone records and a device attached to his car in the Lumberjacks parking lot.

Maynard, a traveling professor, professor at Santa Clara University, Chapman University, Sonoma State University, and others, was particularly interested in the 1978 Johnstown massacre in Guyana.

In an interview, a former student described Maynard as anxious, troubled, and sometimes inappropriate. One said he taught a lesson from a dark bedroom by scaling during the pandemic and revealing details of a lawsuit against his ailing father, former landlord, and struggles with mental health.

According to court documents, his life came to light last year and Maynard was living in his car. While crossing Northern California, he sent messages to students, including shouting and linking to a YouTube video in which he rebelled against the state of the world (pictures of winding trees and mountains). He also seemed interested in burning.

Heather Williams, a federal attorney on Maynard’s behalf, said her team was investigating Maynard’s work history, but she may be interested in his personal life and the fire. Do not provide further information about gender. “At this point, we cannot answer your question ethically,” he wrote in an email.

“Something went wrong,” said Vamsita Vena, a former student who took two courses with Maynard at the University of Santa Clara and was an assistant professor from September 2019 to December 2020.

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