Ghost Ship Trial: Jury deliberation to continue next week

Ghost Ship

OAKLAND (KRON) — The Ghost Ship fire trial has been in the hands of the jury for a second day and already a note sent to the judge from the jurors is supplying a bit of optimism for the two defense teams.

The note to the judge seeking clarification of the term “authorized agent of the owner” is being considered good news for defense attorneys in the Ghost Ship trial.

“From our perspective a fantastic way to start,” Tony Serra, attorney for Derick Almena, said. 

Max Harris’ attorney agrees.

“The fact that they are having discussion about that gives us hope,” said attorney Tyler Smith. 

The fate of Almena and Harris is now in the hands of 12 jurors at the Alameda County Superior Courthouse in Oakland. 

The two men face 36-counts of involuntary manslaughter for the partygoers who died trying to escape a fire inside the Ghost Ship warehouse back on Dec. 2, 2016. 

Prosecutors say Almena, the master tenant, and Harris, the creative director, are responsible. 

The jury will have the final say. 

The second day of deliberations ended with no verdict being reached. 

However, defense attorneys explain the significance, from their perspective, of the jury’s note regarding authorized agent.

“It was pure defense oriented. My client is not an authorized agent of the landlord. Therefore they have to find that he did not have a duty to get permits,” Serra said. 

Smith is optimistic as well. 

“So the fact that they are having this discussion really bodes well for us because the DA offered zero evidence in the entire trial that either Derick or Max were even given any authorization on the owners behalf,” he said.

When the jury reaches a verdict perhaps we will find out the significance, if any, to the authorized agent question.

For now the jurors have gone for the day. 

They will return for day three of deliberations next Tuesday.

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