Ghost Ship Trial: Jurors request read back of witness testimony during deliberation

Bay Area

OAKLAND (KRON) — Instead of deliberating, the jurors in the Ghost Ship trial spent Day 8 with the court reporter reading back the testimony from two prosecution witnesses Nico Bouchard and Ryan O’Keefe and one defense witness, the master tenant of Ghost Ship Derick Almena

“I think it’s a neutral selection of witnesses,” said Brian Getz, one of Derick Almena’s attorneys. 

Bouchard signed the original lease for the Ghost Ship along with Almena. 

Ryan O’Keefe worked the front door along with co-defendant Max Harris the night of deadly fire back on Dec. 2, 2016. 

Almena’s defense attorney says he does not believe requesting a read-back of these three witnesses signals anything detrimental to his client

“I think all three of these witnesses had good things to say for the defense but I also think there is something for everyone. I don’t think it is possible to predict in whose favor it stands,” Getz said. 

However, when it comes to receiving favorable signs from individual jurors as they enter and exit the courtroom, Harris’ defense team says they are picking up on some good vibes toward their client

“We’re at least picking up from several jurors that they want what’s best for him. They’re smiling. They seem to be comfortable and happy with all of the interactions with all of the attorneys. That just shows us that Mr. Harris is in good hands,” said Curtis Briggs, attorney for Harris. 

The lead attorney for Almena wouldn’t go that far. 

However, he does consider it a good sign that jury requested to have a read-back of his client’s testimony.

 “I think it’s every criminal defense lawyer’s fantasy when his client testifies to have the transcript read back to the jury,” said lead attorney for Almena’s defense, Tony Serra. 

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