Still no verdict in Oakland Ghost Ship Trial

ByLeslie Brinkley KGO logo
Friday, August 9, 2019
Still no verdict in Oakland Ghost Ship Trial
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A third day of jury deliberations in the Ghost Ship trial have come and gone with still no verdict.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- A third day of jury deliberations in the Ghost Ship Trial have come and gone with still no verdict.

This waiting game, for the defense, is their biggest challenge thus far in this trial -- so the stress level is running high.

TIMELINE: How the investigation into the deadly fire Ghost Ship fire unfolded

Derick Almena's attorney, Tony Serra, said he believes in telepathic communication with the jury.

He said, "Mind talk. So I always try to sit in a place where I can see the jury come and go so they can see I'm there with them waiting."

The jury meets inside the courthouse in Oakland at 9:30 a.m. They deliberate until noon. After a two-hour lunch break, they again deliberate from 2-4 p.m. and then they can go home. They are not sequestered in a hotel.

RELATED: Ghost Ship Trial: Jury enters deliberations after 4 months of testimony

Their decision hinges on whether they believe defendants Derick Almena and Max Harris committed criminal negligence in lying about what was going on at the Ghost Ship and creating what the prosecution called a "dangerous situation" violating a long list of fire codes.

The warehouse inferno on December 2, 2016 claimed 36 lives. Many of the families of the victims have sat in court each day of this four-month trial. If the jury reaches a verdict, they will give their decision to the sheriffs deputy guarding their room, who will take it to the judge.

A morning verdict would result in an afternoon announcement and an afternoon verdict would not be announced until the following day.

PHOTOS: Full list of victims in Ghost Ship warehouse fire

Curtis Briggs, Max Harris' attorney, sounded very somber Tuesday as he said, "Max Harris faces 39 years in prison if convicted, so therefore we are grateful for every minute this jury continues to deliberate."

The jury decides guilt or innocence on 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter for each defendant.

It's up to the judge to issue punishment ranging from probation up to 39 years in prison.

PHOTOS: A look inside the Oakland Ghost Ship collective warehouse

See more stories and videos related to the Ghost Ship warehouse fire.