Ghost Ship Trial: Derick Almena accuses witnesses of lying

Bay Area

OAKLAND (KRON) – No tears from Derick Almena on the witness stand during Tuesday’s testimony. 

It was more about contrasting his version of events against the previous testimony of Oakland police and firefighters.

Day two of Derick Almena’s direct examination covered a lot of ground in the Ghost Ship Trial in Oakland. 

Defense attorney Tony Serra giving his client an opportunity to give his version of incidents and events previously testified by others during the trial.

Highlights of his testimony include Almena telling the court that he felt bullied by the tenant in the space next door. 

His reason for not telling Oakland police the truth about people living there? He told the jury the owner of the building advised him to deny that people lived there.

“We subpoenaed them. We wanted to put them on. I wanted to grill them. I think they’re more responsible than anyone else,” Serra said.

Regarding the stability of the stairs, he testified that 100 government officials went up and down those stairs while he lived there. 

He told the court that he was never told by anyone that anything inside of the Ghost Ship was a fire hazard. 

Although the prosecution put on witnesses from the Oakland Fire Department who testified that they never set foot inside of the warehouse, Almena told the court that at least 13 individual firefighters visited the Ghost Ship on five separate occasions.

“Make no bones about it. We believe that the fire department perjured themselves when they say they never went in. My client has itemized where law enforcement and officials have gone in approximately 30 times. We have corroborating witnesses, four or five witnesses that say Sabatini had gone in,” Serra said.

Almena’s direct examination has ended. 

He is expected to undergo a very rigorous cross-examination by the D.A. over the next couple of days.

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