Trial to finally begin against two men blamed for San Francisco's Ghost Ship fire that killed 36

  • Source: East Bay Times
  • Published: 05/01/2019 12:00 AM

After weathering six judges, a long preliminary hearing, a botched plea deal, countless legal motions and no shortage of emotional courtroom drama, the trial of two men held responsible for the deaths of 36 people in the Ghost Ship warehouse fire 2 1/2 years ago finally begins Tuesday. Prosecutors are scheduled to deliver opening statements laying out their case against Derick Almena, 49, and Max Harris, 29, who are charged with 36 counts each of involuntary manslaughter stemming from the Dec. 2, 2016, blaze at the warehouse in East Oakland’s Fruitvale neighborhood on 31st Avenue. The defendants’ attorneys will follow with their own version of who’s to blame, and if their past statements are any indication, they’ll likely fault Oakland city officials for not stepping in to prevent the tragedy and the warehouse’s owners for allowing people to inhabit the building. The opening statements at the Rene C. Davidson courthouse before Alameda County Superior Court Judge Trina Thompson are expected to last two days.


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