Defendants reach plea deal in Ghost Ship warehouse fire
KRON
Derick Almena (left), Max Harris (right)

via KRON

SAN FRANCISCO -- (KRON) -- The Ghost Ship warehouse fire case will not go to trial as both men charged in the deadly 2016 fire have reached a plea deal.

The deal will be announced Tuesday.

Derick Almena and Max Harris were both charged with 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter, one for each person who died in the fire.

Before Friday's hearing, Almena's lawyer Tony Serra told KRON4 that the deal was an eight-year prison sentence.

All parties negotiated for about two hours Friday. Details of the plea deal that was reached will not be released until next week.

Serra previously said that taking this plea would show his client is taking responsibility at a moral level. It would also eliminate the pain and suffering the victims' families would go through if the case were to be litigated.

On Dec. 2, 2016, a fire ripped through a warehouse during an unlicensed electronic music party. 36 people were killed in what became the deadliest fire in the city's history.

The warehouse named 'Ghost Ship' had been illegally converted into residences for artists and musicians by 46-year-old Derick Ion Almena.

He wasn't there the night of the fire but he is bearing the responsibility for the deaths along with his right-hand man Max Harris.

Up to 100 people were at the dance party when the fire started on the first floor. It quickly raged, with smoke billowing into the second level and trapping victims whose only escape route was through the flames.

The victims were overcome by smoke before they could get out of the building.

Former residents called the warehouse a death trap with few exits, piles of driftwood and a labyrinth of electrical cords. Photos of the interior showed a hodgepodge Bohemian scene of Tibetan prayer flags, Christmas lights and scores of wooden statues of Buddha, the Virgin Mary, Jesus Christ, elephants and dragons that sat atop pianos and turntables.

FULL STORY: Defendants reach plea deal in Ghost Ship warehouse fire - KRON

Comments