Judge Vernon Nakahara assigned to preside over Oakland's Ghost Ship trial

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Alameda County Judge Vernon Nakahara will preside over the Ghost Ship trial next spring. (Photos by Lake County police/Bay Area News Group)

Alameda County Judge Vernon Nakahara will preside over the Ghost Ship trial next spring. That decision was made Monday in Alameda County Superior Court.

RELATED: Friends, family remember loved ones killed in Oakland Ghost Ship fire 2 years later

Nakahara is retired but will return to the bench. According to Law.com, Nakahara was an Alameda County municipal judge in 1989 and later appointed to Superior Court by Governor Pete Wilson in 1995.

Defendants Derick Almena and Max Harris are charged with 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter. Both men were involved in running the artist collective which burned during a party on December 2, 2016, trapping 36 people inside.

RELATED: Remembering the Oakland Ghost Ship Fire victims

Earlier this year, both defendants had agreed to a plea deal but a judge later rejected that, claiming they did not show enough for remorse for the tragedy.

"Judge Nakahara is very satisfactory, he's honest and fair we are grateful for that," said Tony Serra, attorney for Derick Almena.

VIDEO: Attorneys, victim's father speak about Ghost Ship fire plea deal

The cause of the fire is still a mystery. The trial is set to begin April 2, 2019.

For for full coverage on Oakland's deadly Ghost Ship fire, visit this page.
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