Emotions run high as Ghost Ship trial verdicts are read

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Max Harris's attorneys are overjoyed with his acquittal.

Attorney Tyler Smith said, "It was just ridiculous they charged Max in the first place. It was almost comical. It was a scapegoat for them."

RELATED: Max Harris acquitted, released from jail, mistrial for Derick Almena due to hung jury
A sketch shows the moment Harris heard the news that he would be a free man.

This was also the moment the hearts of the victims' families sank.

Michela Gregory died in the fire. Her father, David, said, "There's a man walking out there that should be in jail right now. He was willing to take a plea deal for six years. You tell me if that's not a guilty person. Come on!'

RELATED: What's next for the Ghost Ship case? The retrial scenarios and huge pending civil suit

Anger filled the courthouse as the verdicts were read.

And the reality set it that Max Harris was found not guilty and the jury was hung when it came to Derick Almena.

Alex Vega's mother, Mary said, "I'm mad. I'm upset my son and his girlfriend died in vain. I've been here almost every day for more than five months for the jury to come back with this? It's frustrating."
Travis Hough's mother, Judy said, "The worst day of my life was Dec. 2nd. It can't get any worse than that. It's been a lot of suffering after that and we continue to suffer."

Still, a lot of frustration is focused on Almena who will remain in custody. His attorney is ready for another fight if prosecutors choose to try him again.

RELATED: Defense attorney reveals why 3 jurors were dismissed during deliberations

Tony Serra said, "In the next trial we will do better. It may hang again and he may be acquitted but we're not going to lose!"

Lisa Slattery lost her best friend in the Ghost Ship Fire. She said, "He's guilty. He created this environment-- he set up for 36 people to die and I think he should be found guilty. I'm kind of numb right now that's all I can say."

Here are the latest stories and videos about the Ghost Ship Fire trial.
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