Oakland Ghost Ship defendants delay entering pleas

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- The defendants in the deadly Oakland Ghost Ship fire delayed entering pleas to manslaughter charges Friday.

Max Harris' attorney is speaking out for the first time, calling the prosecution of Harris unethical and questioning why the owner of the building isn't being charged with crimes in this case.

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No cameras were allowed in the courtroom.

Prosecutors say he organized the warehouse party in December, and accuse him of hosting it in a building that was what they call a fire trap with only one escape route from the second floor.

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They say the building violated fire codes. His attorney says Harris tried to save lives that night, and that he should not be charged.

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Harris has a codefendant, Derrick Almena. Prosecutors say Almena was the landlord for all the residents in the Ghost Ship warehouse, and that Harris was his right hand man. Both face 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter for the 36 people who died in that fire.

Friday's proceedings were postponed. Both men were there but did not enter pleas. Harris and Almena had friends and family in the courtroom to support them.

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