‘The worst has already happened’: Family member of Ghost Ship victim speaks

Bay Area

OAKLAND (KRON) — Friends and family are reflecting after the Oakland Ghost Ship verdict was announced Thursday.

Defendant Max Harris was acquitted on all counts, while jurors were deadlocked on a verdict for the second defendant Derick Almena.

Harris is set to be released from the Santa Rita Jail Thursday night.

A family member of a victim said she is sympathetic for the other families who are also suffering.

The woman said she is pleased with her lawyers, saying “they did their best.”

When asked how she felt about Harris’ verdict, she said that she and her family have already encountered the worst.

“In all honesty, the worst day of my life was on December 2nd,” she said. “It can’t get any worse than that. It’s just a lot of suffering after that and we continue to suffer. The worst has already happened.”

She said someone else suffering wouldn’t make her happy, but she did want some sort of accountability.

Almena will return to court next month for a hearing after a mistrial was declared Thursday.

“It just continues,” she said. “To be going back in October for another trial, I think that is going to be painful again. It’s like the thing that never ends.”

Jurors were deadlocked 10-2 in favor of a guilty verdict for Almena.

Almena will return to Alameda County Superior Court on Oct. 4.

The Alameda County District Attorney’s Office is now going to reevaluate the case and evidence and decide the next steps in Almena’s case.

“To be honest, I wish it would have been over today,” the woman said. “And it’s not.”

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