ghost ship fire
Photo: Jose Carlos Fajardo, Bay Area News Group

In the ongoing legal battles surrounding the Ghost Ship fire in Oakland, CA that killed 36 innocent individuals in December 2016, an update. A hearing for the co-defendants, Derick Almena and Max Harris, has been postponed.

However, the attorneys for each client has asked that the defendants be released from custody. Both Almena and Harris are facing 36 counts of manslaughter and are being held on a bail amount of $1.08 million, which the attorneys claim neither can afford.

The argument from the attorneys states that neither Almena nor Harris are flight risks and pose no threats. Curtis Briggs, Harris’ attorney, said in reference to the case:

“All the evidence shows Max Harris did exactly what a tenant should do in that situation. He tried his best at all times. He tried to save lives. He did the right thing.”

The defense is also claiming that Harris and Almena are being used as scapegoats for a larger problem that city officials need to face.

The attorney of the victims of the fire, Mary Alexander, stand opposed to the idea of the men’s release. In a statement to reporters last Friday after the hearing was postponed, she stated that “The families are very pleased criminal charges brought against Almena and Harris. Most of the families feel that these people created the death trap … and they should be held accountable.”

H/T Mercury News


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