Jury Acquits One Defendant in Deadly Ghost Ship Fire, Deadlocks on the Other

at 9:00 AM
Save ArticleSave Article

Failed to save article

Please try again

This article is more than 3 years old.
A 'not guilty' verdict is read for Ghost Ship co-defendant Max Harris in Alameda County Superior Court on Thursday. (Court illustration by Vicki Behringer)

Defendant Max Harris was acquitted Thursday of all 36 counts of manslaughter in the deadly fire at the Ghost Ship warehouse in Oakland. The jury hung on all counts against codefendant Derick Almena. Prosecutors accused the two men of turning the warehouse and artist collective into a death trap, resulting in a massive fire that killed 36 people in December 2016. Wednesday's verdict comes after years of legal battles and two trials, which could have resulted in up to 39 years in prison for both men. Forum discusses the verdict, the reaction of friends and family of the victim's and what's next in the legal battle.

Related: Ghost Ship Decision: KQED Invites You to Share Your Reactions


Nihar Bhatt, witness of the fire; DJ, San Francisco Surface Tension Collective

David Levine, professor, UC Hastings College of the Law

Don Clyde, reporter, KQED News