Opening statements in Ghost Ship trial set to begin Tuesday

Bay Area

ALAMEDA COUNTY (KRON) — It’s been more than two years since 36 people were killed in the horrific Ghost Ship warehouse fire in Oakland — and on Tuesday, the two men charged in the fire will face a jury as opening statements begin in Alameda County Superior Court. 

Jury selection, which began earlier this month, was completed Monday and opening statements are slated for Tuesday and Wednesday. 

Witness testimony is expected on May 6.

The defendants, Derick Almena, 48, and Max Harris, 28, each face 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter in the deadly warehouse fire. 

In December 2017, an Alameda County judge ruled the case would go to trial.

Almena rented the Ghost Ship warehouse, while a witness testified in 2017 that Harris planned the party where the fire occurred on Dec. 2, 2016. 

According to the Associated Press, prior to the fire the warehouse had been illegally converted into living spaces for artists. Prosecutors say the defendants knowingly created a firetrap, defying the building’s owner and fire and law enforcement officials, according to the Associated Press. 

Opening statements are set to begin Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. at the Rene C. Davidson Courthouse in Oakland.

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