Ghost Ship founder Derick Almena booked into Santa Rita Jail

Tuesday, June 06, 2017 11:31AM
One of two men newly charged in connection with the Ghost Ship fire is in jail in Alameda County. The district attorney's office says he's partially responsible for 36 deaths.


OAKLAND, Calif. - One of two men newly charged in connection with the Ghost Ship fire is in jail in Alameda County. The district attorney's office says he's partially responsible for 36 deaths.

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Derick Almena, 47, was booked into Santa Rita Jail Monday at 7 p.m. He appeared in Lake County Superior Court on Monday.

Almena was the tenant of the Ghost ship warehouse and hosted a concert on the building's second floor on December 2. Prosecutors say it was an illegal, unpermitted party space with blocked exits and paying guests were not able to get out. There were 36 people who died in the fire.

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"Almena and (Max) Harris knowingly created a fire trap with inadequate means of escape. They then filled that area with human beings and are now facing the consequences of their actions," said Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O'Malley.

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Almena had moved his wife and three kids to Lake County after the fire. That's where police found and arrested him yesterday. Prosecutors have not said whether they will charge the owner of the warehouse. Almena's right hand man, Max Harris, has been charged and is being extradited from Los Angeles.

Almena bail was set at $1.8 million. He is set to be arraigned Thursday. He has scheduled a press conference to make public comments on Friday.

Click here for full coverage on the investigation into Oakland's deadly Ghost Ship Fire.
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