The two men charged with 36 felony counts of manslaughter following the deadly Ghost Ship fire in Oakland last December appeared in court today and plead ‘not guilty’ to the charge.
Currently in custody at Santa Rita Jail in Northern California with a bond set at $750,000, Ghost Ship director Max Harris and master tenant Derrick Almena are facing up to 39 years in prison if convicted. The families of the victims filled the small courtroom of the Alameda County Superior Court as both Harris and Almena entered their pleas to the judge while donning their red jail-issued clothing.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for November 13, where a judge will decide if there is enough evidence for a conviction.
After the hearing, defense attorneys spoke to the media outside the courtroom and proceeded to shift the blame to others for the deadliest fire in modern California history. Among the 36 who lost their lives were the beloved 100% Silk affiliated artists Cherushii and Nackt, both of whom were performing in the DIY art space the night of the fire.
Cameron is Mixmag's US Editorial Intern. Follow him on Twitter here