OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) – An attorney for a man accused of illegally converting a warehouse where a fire killed three dozen people at an unlicensed concert says he will ask a judge to move the case from Oakland to another California county after a judge threw out his plea bargain.
Alameda County Judge James Cramer stunned the courtroom on Friday when he tossed out a deal in which Derick Almena agreed to serve nine years in prison for no contest pleas to 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter.
Another man, Max Harris, agreed to a six-year term.
Almena’s lawyer, Tony Serra, says his client can’t get a fair trial in Alameda County after publicly admitting his guilt when he thought they had reached a plea agreement.
A hearing has been scheduled for Friday.