What's ahead in aftermath of Ghost Ship Trial

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- The Ghost Ship Trial ended Thursday, but so much more lies ahead.

Defendant Max Harris was acquitted and is a free man while defendant Derick Almena remains in prison over a hung jury.

ABC7 News tried to talk to both Harris and Almena on Friday, but their attorneys said they don't wish to be interviewed at this time.

RELATED: Max Harris acquitted, released from jail, mistrial for Derick Almena due to hung jury

And in an upcoming civil trial, all eyes will be on the City of Oakland.

The mayor was out of town in Modesto on Friday and unavailable to comment.

Several family members of the victims say they are emotionally exhausted.

David Gregory shared personal photos of his daughter Michaela who perished in the Ghost Ship fire along with her boyfriend Alex Vega.

"It feels like we'll never get closure. No money is going to bring back our daughter. I wanted criminal justice," Gregory said.

Many family members from the Ghost Ship Fire are turning to how the City of Oakland will respond to a civil lawsuit.

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

Outside the Ghost Ship warehouse on Friday, Oakland City Councilman Noel Gallo pointed out the bouquets of fresh flowers brought by well wishers as Fruitvale residents complain this site has turned into a tourist attraction.

"We need to take responsibility. Who needs to take responsibility? I think not only all of us in government, but the property owner. It begins and ends with the property owner. I was surprised from the very beginning they didn't bring the property owners to the forefront," Gallo said.

Fruitvale business owner Al Garcia said, "Nobody's going to win on this. I mean, you can bring in the owners, you can bring the city in and there's going to be a lot of money changing hands, but there are no winners."

Thirty-six people are gone. And because of the outcome of the trial, defendant Harris' aunt hopes victims' families will stop judging Harris based on what they heard in court.

By phone, she said, "If the families could only realize that their perceptions are not based on reality. I think it will help them. Otherwise, they're going to be locked in bitterness."
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