Ghost Ship trial: Defendant Max Harris takes stand

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- As a Ghost Ship defendant Max Harris took the stand Monday, the judge set up an overflow room so scores of families with an emotional connection to the case could hear the testimony.

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Harris, facing 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter, wore a suit and calmly addressed the jury.

Prosecution witnesses have previously described Harris as being in a leadership role at the Ghost Ship, in charge of collecting rent and organizing events.

RELATED: Ghost Ship Trial: Witness says Almena laughed at making improvements to warehouse

Harris said co-defendant Derek Almena introduced him a year before the fire as a "creative director." Harris said, "It was a fun surprise to me. It sounded like a joke and we were not close to being officious or the bureaucratic."

He said he called himself creative director sometimes to sound important in communications.

Harris' attorney, Curtis Briggs, said, "He was actually scrubbing toilets and stocking toilet paper. He's been in custody for two years, waiting to tell his story, waiting to connect with the jury, waiting to tell the truth."

Take a look at the latest stories and videos about the Ghost Ship Fire trial.

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