RELATED: Ghost Ship Trial: Investigator says no sign of arson
But a retired investigator for the Oakland Fire Department, Maria Sabatini, told the jury that she and other local and federal investigators found no evidence of arson in the debris of the gutted warehouse.
"We didn't find any evidence of Molotov cocktails or any other incendiary, but we couldn't rule it out," testified Sabatini.
#HAPPENINGNOW #GHOSTSHIPTRIAL Defense continues to cross-examine retired @OaklandFireLive arson investigator Maria Sabatini. Sabatini maintains investigation was thorough. No clear cause found, could not rule out anything, including Molotov Cocktail as defense alleges. @courtart pic.twitter.com/R0Mtz1MUfs— Laura Anthony (@LauraAnthony7) May 23, 2019
Sabatini said fire investigators, including some from the ATF, located the origin of the fire -- in the northwest corner of the first floor of the warehouse -- but not the exact cause.
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Propane, natural gas and electrical appliances were ruled out, but not the larger electrical system.
"She can't rule out arson," said Andy Stein, an attorney for Max Harris.
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Defense attorneys claim the fact that Sabatini could not eliminate arson, or many other possible causes -- is key to their clients' case.
"The electrical engineers have eliminated all other causes for this fire," said Stein. "So the only other choice is it's man-made, and if it's man-made, then Max is going home."
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