OAKLAND (KRON) — The Ghost Ship Fire trial is now over.
One defendant has been freed from jail, while the other defendant remains behind bars due to a mistrial.
“Neither jury was able to reach a decision on Derick Almena. In my mind that’s two mistrials,” said Almena’s attorney Brian Getz
Getz was co-counsel for Derick Almena throughout the Ghost Ship Fire trial in Oakland.
The jury found co-defendant Max harris not guilty on all 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter.
The jury was hopelessly deadlocked on the charges against Almena who now faces the possibility of a retrial.
However Getz says if that happens, the result could be a third hung jury.
“The original jury deliberated for weeks and were unable to reach a verdict which in my mind is a functional mistrial,” Getz said. “Of course they never declared that they were locked up but they had to have been locked up to deliberate 10 or 11 days without reaching a verdict on either defendant.”
Enter jury 2.0 following the misconduct allegations.
“Three alternates were impaneled and that jury did lock up,” the attorney said.
Getz was seated next to Almena at the defense table when the verdict was read
“He was confused. He didn’t really understand what that meant. He didn’t understand the status of a mistrial defendant,” Getz said.
While he is waiting to find out whether or not there will be a new trial, Almena will be spending time behind bars at Santa rita jail.
“He is not a flight risk. He’s got family here. If Derick were to run away he would never see his children again,” Getz said. “He is certainly not a danger to the community. I don’t think he should be in jail especially given his eligibility for bail.”
Almena’s bail is currently set at $750,000.
He returns to court on Oct. 4 to learn if he will stand trial again.