Ghost Ship Trial: Defense rests its case

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OAKLAND (KRON) — The cross examination of Derick Almena ended Thursday and the defense has rested its case in the Ghost Ship trial.

The District Attorney’s evidence presented for the jury focused on responsibility and blame.

After three days of cross examining of Almena, Autry James had no more questions.

The prosecution’s aim is to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Almena and co-defendant Max Harris are responsible for the 36 people who died in the Oakland warehouse fire back on Dec. 2, 2016. 

With that in mind the bulk of last day of questioning focused on the lease for the warehouse signed by Almena. 

The prosecution pointed out the terms of the lease which include no alterations being done without consent from the owner and that Almena was responsible for repairs, heating, water, plumbing and electricity. 

The defendant scoffed at the agreement telling the jury the power went out a few days after he acquired the building. he told the court that he contested the lease right away 

“He signed off on that and then he showed up. There was no water. There was no electrical. There was no plumbing. There was no trash. He was responsible for that. Essentially this was a predatory landlord,” said defense attorney Curtis Briggs.

The jury also heard the prosecutor read a portion of a 23-page document Almena wrote while he was behind bars.

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