OAKLAND, Calif. - Derick Almena's attorneys held a press conference in San Francisco Friday. Almena and his associate Max Harris are facing 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter in connection with the Ghost Ship Warehouse fire.
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With an oversized picture of her family behind her and dozens of reporters in front of her, Micah Allison responded to the 36 involuntary manslaughter charges her husband and his associate are facing in connection to the Ghost Ship Warehouse fire.
"My husband is a good man, Max Harris is a good man, they're not greedy, they're not selfish or reckless," said Allison.
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Almena's attorneys say they were shocked when he was charged. "The government has gotten it wrong once again," said Attorney Kyndra Miller.
Almena's attorneys say the Alameda County District Attorney has made him a scapegoat in part they say for her own political aspirations.
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"The prosecution is really brought for the private benefit of the District Attorney and as a shield and a sword for the sheriffs for PGE, for the building inspectors who are the real culpable parties," said Attorney Tony Serra.
In an emailed statement, a spokesperson for the Alameda County District Attorney's Office writes, "Our ethical duty as prosecutors is to analyze the facts and apply the law to those facts, filing criminal charges only when there is proof beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the crime."
In an emailed statement, a spokesperson for PGE writes, "We've seen no evidence to date that would lead us to believe that our facilities were the cause of the fire."
Almena and Harris are scheduled to be in court next week. Almena's attorneys say his plea will be not guilty.
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