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Ghost Ship managers plead guilty over deadly fire 

By | Published on Wednesday 4 July 2018

Ghost Ship, Oakland

The two men accused of involuntary manslaughter in relation to the deadly fire that occurred at the Ghost Ship warehouse space in Oakland, California in 2016 have pleaded guilty after reaching a plea deal with prosecutors.

36 people died after a fire broke out during a party at the converted warehouse, which was being used as a shared space for artists to live and work in. Seven musical acts were due to perform that night, members of which were among the dead.

Derick Almena and Max Harris were subsequently charged for involuntary manslaughter. At a court session last year, a judge ruled that the two men had a “substantial” role in managing the multi-purpose venue. In that role that they had failed to put in place even basic safety measures, meaning the warehouse was, in the judge’s words, a “death trap”.

Having pleaded guilty to the charges, Almena and Harris will now be sentenced on 8 Aug. According to the local District Attorney’s office, Almena will likely be sentenced to nine years in custody and three more under ‘mandatory supervision’, while Harris will likely face six years in jail and four under supervision.



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