The two defendants facing dozens of manslaughter charges from the deadly Ghost Ship warehouse fire of 2016 have reportedly entered plea deals to avoid lengthy jail sentences.
According to the East Bay Times, Derick Almena, 48, and Max Harris, 28, have plead no contest and are expected to serve nine and six years in jail, respectively. Almena will follow up his sentence with an additional three years supervised release and Harris with four years supervised release.
With time served, time spent behind bars may be even shorter.
The notorious fire at the Ghost Ship warehouse in Oakland, California killed 36 people attending an electronic music dance party. Prosecutors argued that both Almena, the head of the art collective, and Harris, the executive director collecting rent from warehouse residents, played criminally negligent roles in the tragic accident.
While many community and family members closely related to the case aren’t completely satisfied with the plea deals, attorney Mary Alexander (who reps 11 victims in the civil case) says the important thing is that the two men are held responsible and serve time for their crimes.
Sources: East Bay Times, NPR | Photos released by the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office