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Men Charged with Involuntary Manslaughter from Ghost Ship Fire Delay Pleas

Attorneys for Derick Almena and Max Harris are waiting on all ofthe police reports and records from the case.

by Britt Julious
Jul 9 2017, 5:48pm

Photo of Ghost Ship via Wikimedia Commons.

Derick Almena, master tenant of the former Ghost Ship warehouse space, and Max Harris, creative director of the space, delayed entering pleas in connection to the December fire that killed 36 people last year.

According to a report from the San Francisco Examiner, Almena and Harris' defense attorneys have delayed entering pleas for their two clients until prosecutors provide all of the police reports and records from the case.

Both men have been charged with 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter and could face 39 years in state prison for their roles in the fire.

The two will return to court on August 4 to enter pleas and argue a motion to reduce their bails. Both Almena and Harris have bails set at $1.08 million each. Almena's lawyer is asking for his client to be released on his own recognizance or receive a bail reduction because he does not believe his client is a flight risk. Curtis Briggs, Harris' lawyer, is asking for his client to be released on his own recognizance.

Briggs does not believe there is enough evidence to prosecute his client. Harris, "did exactly what a tenant should do during the fire, which is try to save lives," Briggs said. He added: "We're looking for the damning evidence against him and we haven't seen it so far."