Attorney: Jury should find accused not guilty in deadly Ghost Ship fire


OAKLAND (AP/KRON) — The attorney for one of two men on trial in connection with a fire that killed 36 people at a San Francisco Bay Area warehouse two years ago has told the jury there’s enough evidence to find his client not guilty.

The prosecution has accused the 29-year-old Harris and 49-year-old Derick Almena, who rented the warehouse known as the Ghost Ship, of 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter.

Attorney Curtis Briggs pointed out Tuesday that Harris had not been there when Almena signed the lease in November 2013 and that it wasn’t him who threw the dance party the night of the fire.

During his closing argument Briggs reminded the jury of testimony from Oakland fire, Alameda County officials and Oakland police who went into the warehouse and raised no red flags about any danger and asked the jury why would Harris think any different.

Before ending his closing argument, brought up the theory that arson is a possible cause of the fire  in light of the official classification for the origin being undetermined. In terms of reasonable doubt he told the jury that if the arson theory is reasonable you have to vote that his client is innocent.

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