One man acquitted of manslaughter, hung jury for second man
The deadly blaze broke out during a December 2016 electronic music concert at an industrial building that had been converted without permits into a residence for artists.
An Oakland police officer guards the area in front of the art collective warehouse known as the Ghost Ship in the aftermath of a fire in Oakland, California.
One of the men charged in the deadly 2016 Oakland, California, Ghost Ship warehouse fire was acquitted of 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter Thursday, although the jury was unable to reach a verdict on his co-defendant.
Max Harris faced a maximum term of 39 years in state prison for his alleged roles in the devastating blaze that killed 36. The jury was “hopelessly deadlocked” on the 36 charges against Derick Almena, the man who rented out the space, prompting Judge Trina Thompson to declare a mistrial in the case.
Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley said that each of the 36 people who died in the fire “will never be forgotten” and that her office has worked tirelessly to bring their families justice.
“While I am disappointed in today’s outcome, I must respect the thoroughness and thoughtfulness of each juror in this matter, as well as the outcome of their deliberations,” O’Malley said.
The district attorney said that she will meet with her trial team and families of the victims before deciding the next steps in the case against Almena. There has been no decision yet on if the DA’s office will pursue a new trial.