‘He created this environment’: Friend of Ghost Ship victim speaks on Almena’s role in fire

Ghost Ship

OAKLAND (KRON) — A friend of one of the 36 victims in the deadly Ghost Ship warehouse fire Oakland believes defendant Derick Almena created an environment that led to the destructive fire in 2016, despite the undecided jury.

Lisa Slattery, a friend of Jennifer Mendiola, said “it is what it is” in terms of the jury’s mistrial — but believes Almena is guilty.

“He created this environment, he set it up for 36 people to die and I think he should be found guilty,” she said.

Mendiola, 35, died in the fire along with her boyfriend Micah Danemayer.

“Yes a mistrial is — starting all over again — is a nightmare,” Slattery said. “But with Derick, it is what it is. [Jurors] were mostly guilty for him.”

Mendiola had a master’s degree from Sacramento State University and was working toward a PhD in psychology at UC Merced when she died in the fire.

A total of 36 people were killed in the fire on the night of Dec. 2, 2016.

Max Harris was acquitted on all charges Thursday, while a mistrial was declared for Almena.

Harris is slated to be released from jail Thursday night.

Almena returns to court Oct. 4.

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