Alabama

Alabama to keep passport of German man accused of fire

A judge has refused to return a German man's passport as he faces charges in Alabama accusing him of setting a fire at Toomer's Corner in Auburn, a popular spot to celebrate Auburn University football victories.

Jochen Wiest is accused of setting fire to toilet paper that covered one of the Toomer's oaks after the Auburn-Louisiana State University football game. He's charged with criminal mischief; desecration of a venerable object and public intoxication.

Wiest's lawyer had requested he get his passport back, saying in court papers that he can't support himself financially in the United States and needs to go back to Germany.

But a judge Wednesday disagreed, saying he feared Wiest could stay in Germany. The judge said he expects that a plea hearing will be set for January.