Ghost Ship Trial: Video shows Almena saying fire inside would be 'horrible'

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- An ATF agent who took the stand for the prosecution found herself in the crossairs of the defense at the Ghost Ship trial.

Whitney Hameth interviewed a former Ghost Ship resident the day after the Dec. 2, 2016 fire. Hameth said Darrold Leite never mentioned hearing a fight, popping sounds or seeing strange men leaving the warehouse in the moments before the fire. Leite testified he did hear and see suspicious people the night of the fire.

The defense tried to paint Hameth as a novice investigator, who failed to ask Leite the right questions.

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"The lady who interviewed him didn't know about the case," said Tony Serra, Derick Almena's attorney. "She hadn't interviewed anyone else, got questions from one of the other senior members."

Oakland police Officer Michael Erickson also took the stand. Body camera video shot by Erickson of Derick Almena was shown to the jury.

In the Sept. 2014 video, Almena says he's glad an arson fire set outside the Ghost Ship didn't go inside, because that would be "horrible."

Mary Alexander is a civil attorney who represents some of the families of the 36 people killed in the fatal fire two years later.

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"He was the main person who developed the Ghost Ship," she said. "He knew there were dangers, that he had not put in all the things that were important for fire."

The final witnesses in the criminal trial are expected to take the stand on Tuesday. Then the jury will be given a break before closing arguments are set to begin at the end of the month.

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