News & Blogs Defendents plead "No Contest" in Ghost Ship Fire case (1 Viewer)


Mastering the Art of Houselessness
Dec 12, 2014
Current Location
Northern Arizona

Men Charged In Deadly Calif. Ghost Ship Warehouse Fire Plead No Contest

July 4, 201812:04 PM ET
gettyimages-627899864_wide-2ad8da3655771de6762859d50cc7d80bead3b7d3-s700-c85-jpg.44197_Defendents plead "No Contest" in Ghost Ship Fire case_Squatting_Squat the Planet_8:06 PM

Two men pleaded no contest Tuesday to 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter in the 2016 Ghost Ship warehouse fire in Oakland, Calif.
Two men each charged with 36 countsof involuntary manslaughter, representing the three dozen people who perished in the 2016 Oakland, Calif. warehouse fire, pleaded no contest on Tuesday, in a deal letting them avoid trial and possibly lengthy prison terms.
Derick Almena, who managed the artists' collective turned dance venue known as the Ghost Ship, agreed to a nine year sentence with an additional three years supervised release.
Max Harris, a tenant who assisted Almena in his duties as an illegal landlord, is expected to be sentenced to six years with four years supervised release.
ap_18051681680019_custom-7cc1a81487ca62319130bcdef968b5ee68f3596a-s700-c85-jpg.44198_Defendents plead "No Contest" in Ghost Ship Fire case_Squatting_Squat the Planet_8:06 PM

Derick Almena, seen in a photo released by the Alameda County Sheriff's Office, pleaded no contest to involuntary manslaughter in connection with the deadly 2016 fire in the Calif. warehouse he managed.
But with time served, time spent behind bars may be much shorter, according to Almena's attorney.
Almena would likely only spend three-and-a-half more years behind bars, defense attorney, Tony Serra, said in a news conference Tuesday.
"So it's not what I would call devastating," Serra said.
He added that Almena had entered the no contest plea not out of legal necessity or "culpability" but as "a moral imperative to eliminate all of the trauma and pain and suffering that everyone who touches this case endures."
Article continues after sponsorship

ap_18051681784352_custom-232e83592d01729f2c89bc4073f2877b85afa2fa-s700-c85-jpg.44199_Defendents plead "No Contest" in Ghost Ship Fire case_Squatting_Squat the Planet_8:06 PM

Max Harris also pleaded no contest to 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter in connection with the 2016 Ghost Ship warehouse fire. Photo released by the Alameda County Sheriff's Office.
Almena himself underlined that point in a jailhouse interview with KTVU, saying "to sit through months of parents looking at burned remains of their children, it's not even worth it."
David Gregory, whose daughter Michela Gregory was among the victims, said the sentences were not enough.
"We just wanted some justice," Gregory said, adding he wished the defendants would have had to stand trial. "Some questions could have been answered during trial."
Sami Kopelman, the mother of Edmond Lapine who also died in the blaze, told the East Bay Times she would have liked for Almena and Harris to each serve 36 years: one year for each life lost.
"I don't want my son's life or those of the other victims, no matter what their circumstances were for being there, I don't want the value of their lives to be lessened by a sweep aside," Kopelman said.
Last year, the Oakland Fire Department released a lengthy report detailing what happened on the night of Dec. 2, 2016, when a dance party ended with the building, a cluttered 9,880 sq. ft. warren with blocked windows, burning down.
Witnesses told investigators that before midnight, flames and thick smoke drove people to shout fire and run. But there was nowhere to go.
Party goers on the second floor couldn't make it down the makeshift stairway.
gettyimages-627899864_sq-dfe52f301ba75fb8d683f5d79cd4acd2fe546de8-s700-c85-jpg.44200_Defendents plead "No Contest" in Ghost Ship Fire case_Squatting_Squat the Planet_8:06 PM

Recovery Efforts End At Oakland Warehouse; Death Toll Stands At 36
"(T)he walls of the hallways were assembled together from aggregates of salvaged and scavenged materials, such as pianos, organs, windows, wood benches, lumber, and innumerable other items stacked next to and on top of each other," the report said.
The building had no sprinklers, nor did it have an automatic fire detection system, according to investigators.
By the time firefighters arrived around 11:30 p.m., smoke was already pouring out of the building.
They never were able to pinpoint the cause of the fire.
"Defendants Almena and Harris knowingly created a fire trap with inadequate means of escape, filled it with human beings," Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O'Malley said last year when she announced her office was filing felony charges against the men.
On the night of the party, one of two exits was blocked, she said.
gettyimages-627387074_sq-789d66f62a810fe1efb183de55fa6cd88bf2fefd-s700-c85-jpg.44201_Defendents plead "No Contest" in Ghost Ship Fire case_Squatting_Squat the Planet_8:06 PM

Recovery Efforts At Burned Oakland Warehouse Paused Over Fear Of Collapse
"Almena's and Harris' actions were reckless, creating a high risk of death," O'Malley said.
The sentencing hearing is set for next month. At that time witnesses for the defense as well as the victims will have the opportunity to speak, Serra said.
"It will be a very agonizing session," Serra said Tuesday, "just as the plea session today was protracted."
Kopelman, told the East Bay Times that she, for one, does not expect to attend the hearing.
"I don't think I could bear to see those two men in person," she said.
Click here to buy the Anarchist's Guide to Travel!


Mastering the Art of Houselessness
Dec 12, 2014
Current Location
Northern Arizona
Fucking disgusting that this is happening. But yes. More could have been done to prevent NOT having a show of that magnitude before shuring up the fire prevention/exits.

I'm not completely up in this issue though...I'd appreciate some insight, I know some users on here stayed at this location.


me, hellarity, oak, ca. about 2006
StP Supporter
Oct 12, 2017
Current Location
San Diego, CA
It's a very sad story indeed but I think the actual owners of the building should have to see some jail time & not just the master tenants. :'(

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

About us

  • Squat the Planet is the world's largest social network for misfit travelers. Join our community of do-it-yourself nomads and learn how to explore the world by any means necessary.

    More Info

Support StP!

Donations go towards paying our monthly server fees, adding new features to the website, and occasionally putting a burrito in Matt's mouth.

Total amount

Monthly Goals

  1. Paying the Bills
    $40.00 of $50.00
    The first $50 in donations go towards paying our monthly server fees and adding new features to the website. Once this goal is reached, we'll see about feeding Matt that burrito.
  2. Buy Matt a Beer
    $40.00 of $75.00
    Now that we have the bills paid for this month, let's give Matt a hearty thank you by buying him a drink for all the hard work he's done for StP. Hopefully his will help keep him from going insane after a long day of squishing website bugs.
  3. Feed Matt a Burrito
    $40.00 of $100.00
    Now that the bills are paid and Matt has a beer in his hand, how about showing him your love by rewarding all his hard work with a big fat burrito to put in his mouth. This will keep him alive while programming new features for the website.
  4. Finance the Shopping Cart
    $40.00 of $200.00
    Now that the bills are paid and Matt is fed, perhaps it's time to start planning for those twilight years under the bridge... if only he had that golden shopping cart all the oogles are bragging about these days.

Latest Status Updates

when you smoke the Jeffrey , pet the fuzzy walls ...
Just then walking through the stupor market carpark when I saw this 13/14 year old kid saying to his mates ( while making the gestures)" you get the smack in this arm and the ice in this arm it's filth"!!!!!!
The user account self-delete system is back online.
siid wrote on raincheck's profile.
gang goin dummy bitch yiiizzzZzzzzZz love u :👽:

Trains in 2017: 0
2018: 1
2019: 32 and counting
croc wrote on bowldog's profile.
Love ur profile pic. She looks so sultry peeking thru the trees
dumpsternavel wrote on Rhubarb Dwyer's profile.
So clevar
The only good part about the ER is the BE that comes before-hand! :p
forgot how fast people'll throw the first blow in the street
got complacent having only sparred with friends recently.
was socked in the head,
only managed to block the second blow or so
before being knocked to the ground

(to be fair, knocking us off our feet isn't hard when we require a cane or smth to support ourselves most days)

Members online