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Mon Oct 29, 2018, 09:43 PM

Oakland warehouse fire: pair to face trial after judge rejected plea deal

Source: Associated Press

The two men charged with involuntary manslaughter over a warehouse blaze that killed three dozen partygoers will face trial in Oakland early next year, their lawyers said Monday.

Derick Almena, 48, and Max Harris, 28, each pleaded no contest to 36 charges of involuntary manslaughter before a judge vetoed a plea deal worked out with prosecutors. Judge James Cramer rejected the deal after he ruled that Almena hadnít shown sufficient remorse during a two-day sentencing hearing.

Almena rented the Oakland warehouse and illegally converted it into a residence, entertainment venue and workspace for artists. Harris helped Almena collect rent and schedule concerts. A fire killed 36 people attending an electronic music show in December 2016. Investigators said they canít determine the cause of the fire, though they ruled out arson.

The lawyers had contemplated moving the trial out of the San Francisco Bay Area, citing adverse publicity. In particular, there was widespread media coverage of Almena and Harris acknowledging their guilt and apologizing to victimsí families before a plea deal collapsed this summer.

-snip-

Associated Press
Mon 29 Oct 2018 23.25 GMT


Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/oct/29/oakland-warehouse-fire-ghost-ship-trial

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Reply Oakland warehouse fire: pair to face trial after judge rejected plea deal (Original post)
Eugene Oct 29 OP
RockRaven Oct 29 #1
marble falls Oct 30 #2
Sunlei Oct 30 #3

Response to Eugene (Original post)

Mon Oct 29, 2018, 11:32 PM

1. I'm not really crying for either of these guys, but Harris has sort of gotten jerked around here

He pleaded no contest. The judge was ready to accept it. The judge acknowledged Harris's remorse was sufficient/adequate/genuine to accept the pleading.

But for some technical reason, when the judge decided to reject Almena's insufficiently remorseful and self-pitying pleading, Harris's pleading got rejected along with it.

Honestly, so long as Harris gets credit for time served, it doesn't really make a difference in his release date -- because he's facing so many years. Except for how long he's been left hanging wondering how old he'll be when he gets out of prison, if ever. Which seems like a little bit of unnecessary torture.

Again, not crying for the guy, but it seems unnecessary to screw with Harris like this.

But Almena? Yeah, go ahead and screw with that playing-the-victim pity-partier.

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Response to RockRaven (Reply #1)

Tue Oct 30, 2018, 03:19 AM

2. You nailed it.

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Tue Oct 30, 2018, 04:15 AM

3. who let them "rented the Oakland warehouse" and let their property be used for apartments?

That slumlord, Landlord- warehouse owner bares some responsibility?

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