BuzzFeed News

Reporting To You

The Defendants In The Deadly Ghost Ship Fire Have Pleaded No Contest To 36 Counts Of Manslaughter

Derick Almena and Max Harris agreed to serve nine years and six years, respectively, in Alameda County jail.

Posted on July 3, 2018, at 7:49 p.m. ET

Alameda County Sheriff's Office via AP

Two men pleaded no contest Tuesday to 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter in connection with the Ghost Ship fire that killed 36 people at a warehouse party in Oakland, California, in December 2016.

Derick Almena, 48, and Max Harris, 28, have agreed to serve nine years and six years in county jail, respectively, according to Alameda County Assistant District Attorney and spokesperson Teresa Drenick. Almena was a tenant of the warehouse, known as the Ghost Ship, who converted the building into residential units and subleased space to other tenants, including Harris.

Almena will also serve three years of probation and Harris will serve four years of probation, both under county supervision, as part of a deal reached with prosecutors.

The two men were accused of knowingly creating a fire trap at the warehouse when the blaze broke out. Prosecutors said that in addition to letting people live in the warehouse and hosting large groups of people without permits, they blocked one of only two exits of the building on the night of the fire.

Almena and Harris will be formally sentenced Aug. 9, Drenick said in an email. They had both been scheduled to go to trial July 16.

ADVERTISEMENT