Ghost Ship defendants enter plead not guilty in party deaths

These are the two men charged criminally in the Ghost Ship fire that killed 36. Founder Derick Almena is pictured on the left in his booking photo and Max Harris is on the right. (Photos by Lake County police/Bay Area News Group)

Two California men have formally entered not guilty pleas on involuntary manslaughter charges in the deaths of 36 partygoers at a massive warehouse fire in the San Francisco Bay Area.

RELATED: Witnesses say Almena scoffed at building Ghost Ship to code

An Alameda County Superior Court judge on Tuesday set a July 16 trial date for Derick Almena and Max Harris, who the judge previously determined had a "substantial" role in managing the Ghost Ship warehouse.

Almena rented the warehouse known as the Ghost Ship that burned on Dec. 2, 2016, during an electronic music concert. Harris lived there, and a witness testified that Harris was in charge of the unpermitted concert.

RELATED: One year later: What we now know about the Oakland Ghost Ship fire

The warehouse had been illegally converted into living space for artists and had no fire sprinklers.

The men's attorneys accuse the landlord and the city of improper oversight.

Click here for more stories, photos, and video on the Ghost Ship fire.

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