Ghost Ship Trial: Jury deliberation to start soon

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- After four months of testimony, the Ghost Ship trial is quickly wrapping up. The case looks like it could be in the hands of the jury by Wednesday. Tuesday the defendants' attorneys presented their final arguments in court.

Ghost Ship founder Derick Almena's attorney Tony Serra said, "Ghost Ship was a jewel in a coal mine. It was so beautiful no one wanted to enforce the fire code."

RELATED: Ghost Ship Fire: 4-month trial to close this week

Serra argued the fire department lied and perjured themselves to protect the city from lawsuits and claimed they made Almena a scapegoat. It's an unprecedented case-- each of the two defendants facing 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter for the fatal December 2016 fire in an Oakland warehouse.

Max Harris' attorney, Curtis Briggs argued there is reasonable doubt in the case saying, "There's a theme here. No matter what, convict Max Harris. Even though Max didn't sign the lease, convict Max anyways" He added "There was a gangly man with a blue mohawk and big piercings. Somebody who didn't fit into a mold and they pursued that reason."

Families of the victims weren't buying it. Emily Grandchamps, a Fire victims' mother said, "There are no excuses. Everyone is wrong as far as I'm concerned. You know right from wrong."

Briggs also stressed the cause of the fire remains undetermined and alluded to possible arson by citing witnesses who described glass breaking, unidentified intruders at the warehouse and a firecracker smell.

Briggs says his client is connecting with the jury.

"The eye contact, the body language, the sense of compassion he senses from the jury right now is keeping him going right now."

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

After the prosecution has a chance for rebuttal the case is likely to go to the jury Wednesday.

The defendants, if found guilty, would then face the judge who could assign a penalty of everything from probation to 39 years in prison.

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