Almost three years after a devastating fire with 36 dead at a warehouse party in Oakland, California, one of the two defendants is acquitted of the suspicion of negligent homicide. Max H. and Derick A. had to answer in court for negligent homicide.
Unlike the acquittal for Max H., the jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict in the case of the defendant Derick A., who had leased the "Ghost Ship" storehouse to artists. This was reported by the Procuratorate in Alameda district.
In the case against A., the judge in charge declared a so-called misconduct. The prosecution has to decide in this case, if she wants to go for a new trial. For the two men were held in the case of a guilty verdict each up to 39 years in prison. H. had helped as a manager in the artist collective.
Exact cause for fire could not be determined
The prosecution accused the operators of creating a veritable fire trap in the two-story building. The building should only have been used as a warehouse, but not for living or for events. The defense argued that the authorities had not complained about security issues. The exact cause of the fire could not be determined.
The fire killed 36 people aged 17 to 61 years. Even a German living in California was among the victims.