CA - Massive fire at Oakland warehouse party, 36 dead, 2 Dec 2016 #3

Discussion in 'Trials' started by CARIIS, Dec 3, 2016.

  1. MistyM

    MistyM Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,078
    Likes Received:
    125
    Trophy Points:
    63
    i don't understand why the owner of the building and land, as well as the city inspectors aren't being punished. or are they too?
     
    CARIIS likes this.
  2. MsMarple

    MsMarple Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,735
    Likes Received:
    6,822
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Yes, the owner, the city, county and state, PGE and a few others have all been served. I don't know the current status of the lawsuits but here's some info:
    After criminal case, lawsuits loom in deadly Oakland warehouse fire
    http://www.sfexaminer.com/dolan-whats-next-case-ghost-ship-fire/
    https://www.maryalexanderlaw.com/uploads/2017/05/Ghost-Ship-Master-Complaint-file-endorsed.pdf
     
    borndem, CARIIS, Spellbound and 3 others like this.
  3. Niner

    Niner Long time Websleuther

    Messages:
    21,995
    Likes Received:
    26,583
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Thursday, August 9th:
    *Sentencing (@ PT) - CA - Ghost Ship Warehouse Fire in Oakland on Dec. 2, 2016 killing 36 people - Derick Ion Almena (47), and Max Harris (27), charged with 36 felony counts of involuntary manslaughter; both plead not guilty. They remain in custody at the Santa Rita Jail in Dublin on $750,000 bond and face up to 39 years in prison each if convicted. Almena will testify in his own defense per his attorneys. Maybe a plea deal in the works. Trial starts July 16th.
    6/30/18 Update: Plea deal in the works – Judge Morris Jacobson ordered everyone to return to court to conclude any pretrial; returning on July 3rd. Both defendants had tentatively agreed to an 8-year prison sentence.
    7/1/18 Update:
    a plea agreement was reached in the matter of People v. Max Harris and Derick Almena. Both Defendant’s will enter pleas of “no contest” and be found guilty of 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter. Defendant Max Harris will receive a term of six (6) years in the local prison, while Defendant Derick Almena will receive a term of nine (9) years in local prison. At the hearing on Tuesday, July 3, another date will be set 1-2 months out for the sentencing of both Defendants.
    7/3/18 Update: Two men pleaded no contest Tuesday to involuntary manslaughter charges in the Oakland Ghost Ship fire case, averting what would have been a protracted, high-profile jury trial in favor of a deal with prosecutors. The no-contest pleas resulted in convictions on all 36 counts. Almena, 48, will receive a 9-year sentence in county jail and three years of mandatory supervised release under the deal. Harris, 28, agreed to a 6-year sentence and four years of mandatory supervision. With good behavior, they can each serve half their jail terms. The defendants will be formally sentenced during a two-day hearing on Aug. 9 and 10. With time served, Almena could be released in 3½ years and Harris in less than two years.
     
  4. Lilibet

    Lilibet Watching and Waiting

    Messages:
    11,788
    Likes Received:
    8,934
    Trophy Points:
    113
    With time served, Almena could be released in 3½ years and Harris in less than two years.

    They got a sweet deal. :mad:
     
  5. mom2four717

    mom2four717 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    584
    Likes Received:
    756
    Trophy Points:
    93
    The sentence seems too light!
    I am amazed.
     
  6. EuTuCroquet?

    EuTuCroquet? “What's happening to my special purpose!?”

    Messages:
    5,257
    Likes Received:
    8,249
    Trophy Points:
    113
    http://www.sfexaminer.com/ghost-ship-victims-families-blast-short-jail-terms-case/

    Ghost Ship victims’ families blast short jail terms in case

    Linda Regan, the mother of victim Amanda Allen Kershaw, 34, of San Francisco, said the terms mean that Almena will only serve 3 months for each of the 36 victims and Harris will only serve two months per victim.

    Grace Kim, the mother of victim Ara Jo, 29, said she calculated that Jo should have lived at least another 50 years based on the average life expectancy of 79 years and she also calculated that the 36 victims should have lived a total of another 1,800 years based on their ages and life expectancies.

    Kim said Almena and Harris were “grossly negligent” and their short sentences don’t reflect “the magnitude of our pain, suffering and loss.” Chris Allen, the brother of Kershaw, said, “We feel betrayed and don’t feel that justice is being served here.”

    Margaret Bohlka, the mother of victim Em Bohlka, 33, said, “I wish I could plea bargain my grief” but said she expects to mourn her daughter the rest of her life.

    Terry Ewing, a friend of Jo, said he was upset that Alameda County Superior Court Judge Morris Jacobson, who facilitated the plea agreement, wasn’t at the sentencing hearing, nor was District Attorney Nancy O’Malley, who approved the deal.

    Judge James Cramer is substituting at the unusually lengthy sentencing hearing, which is expected to conclude on Friday.

    Court officials didn’t say why Jacobson wasn’t at the hearing, only saying that he was unavailable.
     
  7. Lilibet

    Lilibet Watching and Waiting

    Messages:
    11,788
    Likes Received:
    8,934
    Trophy Points:
    113
    My heart goes out to our dear gitana and her family because their great loss was minimized by this egregiously unjust plea bargain. I’m so sorry.
     
    bluenoser, GarAndTeed, CARIIS and 8 others like this.
  8. Niner

    Niner Long time Websleuther

    Messages:
    21,995
    Likes Received:
    26,583
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Friday, August 10th:
    *Sentencing continues for both (@ PT) - CA - Ghost Ship Warehouse Fire in Oakland on Dec. 2, 2016 killing 36 people - Derick Ion Almena (47), and Max Harris (27), charged with 36 felony counts of involuntary manslaughter; both plead not guilty. They remain in custody at the Santa Rita Jail in Dublin on $750,000 bond and face up to 39 years in prison each if convicted.
    Almena will testify in his own defense per his attorneys. Maybe a plea deal in the works. Trial starts July 16th.
    6/30/18 Update: Plea deal in the works – Judge Morris Jacobson ordered everyone to return to court to conclude any pretrial; returning on July 3rd. Both defendants had tentatively agreed to an 8-year prison sentence.
    7/1/18 Update: a plea agreement was reached in the matter of People v. Max Harris and Derick Almena. Both Defendant’s will enter pleas of “no contest” and be found guilty of 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter. Defendant Max Harris will receive a term of six (6) years in the local prison, while Defendant Derick Almena will receive a term of nine (9) years in local prison. At the hearing on Tuesday, July 3, another date will be set 1-2 months out for the sentencing of both Defendants.
    7/3/18 Update: Two men pleaded no contest Tuesday to involuntary manslaughter charges in the Oakland Ghost Ship fire case, averting what would have been a protracted, high-profile jury trial in favor of a deal with prosecutors. The no-contest pleas resulted in convictions on all 36 counts. Almena, 48, will receive a 9-year sentence in county jail and three years of mandatory supervised release under the deal. Harris, 28, agreed to a 6-year sentence and four years of mandatory supervision. With good behavior, they can each serve half their jail terms. The defendants will be formally sentenced during a two-day hearing on Aug. 9 and 10. With time served, Almena could be released in 3½ years and Harris in less than two years.
    8/9/18 Update: Their plea agreement calls for Almena to serve 9 years in jail and Harris to serve 6 years. But their attorneys say that because of the credits the two men have already accumulated since being arrested in June 2017 they expect Almena to be released in three and a half years and Harris to be released in about 22 months. Judge James Cramer is substituting at the unusually lengthy sentencing hearing, which is expected to conclude on Friday. When the hearing resumes on Friday morning Serra and Briggs will make statements on behalf of their clients and Almena and Harris are also expected to speak.
     
  9. borndem

    borndem Anglophile & registered demwit

    Messages:
    11,987
    Likes Received:
    7,165
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gypsy Girl --
    You can be sure our prayers and best thoughts are continuing for you, your brother, your family, Jennifer's family, and the families of all those people who lost loved ones in this disaster.
    One day at a time.
    We love you and wish you strength.
    borndem
     
  10. Spellbound

    Spellbound falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus

    Messages:
    16,113
    Likes Received:
    13,434
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Whyyyy is that all??? Like a slap on the wrist. :mad::mad:
     
    MsMarple, GarAndTeed, CARIIS and 3 others like this.
  11. Lilibet

    Lilibet Watching and Waiting

    Messages:
    11,788
    Likes Received:
    8,934
    Trophy Points:
    113
    I expect that in his statement in court Almena will claim that he is pleading guilty and accepting this sentence to save the families a long trial. He will portray himself as a nobly self-sacrificing victim of “the system.” He has not been able to bring himself to take any responsibility so far and I can’t imagine that he suddenly had a change of heart. This plea agreement is strictly self-serving. If he says “the right words” to the true victims’ families they are empty words designed to satisfy the court.

    Six or seven years from now when his supervised probation has finished, he will do something just as irresponsible because he is who he is...the center of his own little universe.
     
    MsMarple, CARIIS, tezi and 2 others like this.
  12. DarkChii

    DarkChii Member

    Messages:
    87
    Likes Received:
    13
    Trophy Points:
    8
  13. Lilibet

    Lilibet Watching and Waiting

    Messages:
    11,788
    Likes Received:
    8,934
    Trophy Points:
    113
  14. Lilibet

    Lilibet Watching and Waiting

    Messages:
    11,788
    Likes Received:
    8,934
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Here is some of what Almena said to the families:

    On Friday, Almena addressed the families, telling them he wished he had never been born.

    “(Your children) were the best our society had to offer,” Almena said. “I wish I wasn’t born. I am in hell, OK?”

    Almena, who leased the warehouse from the property owner and allowed it to be used for an electronic music party on Dec. 2, 2016, said he wished he could have been there that night to sacrifice himself and try to save others.

    “If I could give each of you my life — and my children’s lives — I would,” the father of three said.

    But when he offered to have his body tattooed with flames and the faces of the victims, some families in the gallery recoiled.

    Judge in Ghost Ship case throws out plea deal in stunning decision
     
    MsMarple, GarAndTeed, CARIIS and 2 others like this.
  15. Lilibet

    Lilibet Watching and Waiting

    Messages:
    11,788
    Likes Received:
    8,934
    Trophy Points:
    113
    The judge could see right through him:

    In a stunning decision Friday, the judge in the Ghost Ship criminal trial tossed the plea deal of defendant Derick Almena, saying the 48-year-old man did not show true remorse.

    Alameda County Superior Court Judge James Cramer’s decision dissolves the plea deal the district attorney’s office made with co-defendant Max Harris because the deals were made as a package.

    The judge’s declaration startled the courtroom: Shouts of “Yes!” punctuated the room. Some family members of the victims cheered. Others cried. Attorneys appeared surprised.

    Judge in Ghost Ship case throws out plea deal in stunning decision
     
  16. borndem

    borndem Anglophile & registered demwit

    Messages:
    11,987
    Likes Received:
    7,165
    Trophy Points:
    113
    OMG!!!
    So, what's next??
    (crossing my fingers!)
     
  17. borndem

    borndem Anglophile & registered demwit

    Messages:
    11,987
    Likes Received:
    7,165
    Trophy Points:
    113
    And there's this from yesterday's Chronicle:
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ghost Ship victims’ families urge judge to rethink ‘slap on the wrist’ deal
    Kimberly Veklerov Aug. 9, 2018 Updated: Aug. 9, 2018 9:52 p.m.

    The two defendants charged in the deaths of 36 people at the Ghost Ship warehouse are getting off easy, families of the victims told an Alameda County Superior Court judge Thursday, imploring him to reconsider the plea deal they deemed a “slap on the wrist” and “morally bankrupt.”
    ...
    Some families said they felt betrayed by both the length of the plea-bargained sentences and the decision by prosecutors not to charge property owner Chor Ng or any government official.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ghost Ship victims’ families urge judge to rethink ‘slap on the wrist’ deal
     
    Spellbound, MsMarple, CARIIS and 3 others like this.
  18. Lilibet

    Lilibet Watching and Waiting

    Messages:
    11,788
    Likes Received:
    8,934
    Trophy Points:
    113
    It will go to trial unless another plea deal can be reached, according to this article. It sounds to me that the judge is rejecting the plea deal for Almena, but not Harris. However, they are tied together, so the deal for both is rejected. Harris definitely sounded sincerely sorry IMO, so he may be able to separate himself from Almena and make his own deal.

    Quoting portions of the article:

    Alameda County Superior Court Judge James Cramer’s ruling also dissolves the plea agreement the district attorney’s office made with co-defendant Max Harris because the deals were made as a package. The move paves the way for a jury trial for Almena and Harris, unless a new deal can be reached.

    “I am expressly rejecting the plea bargain as to Mr. Almena,” Cramer said
    <snip>

    Rejecting one automatically rejects the other,” said Deputy District Attorney David Lim. “One can’t take the deal if the other doesn’t take the deal.”

    In reaching his decision, which Cramer said he has wrestled with for days, the judge reviewed a lengthy essay that Almena had submitted recently to a probation officer. In it, Almena blamed others for the fire and called himself a victim. That thinking, Cramer said, indicates that Almena has not yet fully acknowledged his responsibility for the tragedy.

    Judge in Ghost Ship case throws out plea deal in stunning decision
    BBM
     
  19. borndem

    borndem Anglophile & registered demwit

    Messages:
    11,987
    Likes Received:
    7,165
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Thanks, Lilibet -- I figured and was hoping that was exactly what would happen. Fingers still crossed!
    :)
     
  20. Lilibet

    Lilibet Watching and Waiting

    Messages:
    11,788
    Likes Received:
    8,934
    Trophy Points:
    113
    FWIW Here is a little bit about Judge Cramer, who was appointed by Gov. Jerry Brown in 2015:

    Cramer, 55, of Piedmont, has served as an assistant public defender at the Alameda County Public Defender’s Office since 2004. He served as supervising legal research attorney at the Alameda County Superior Court from 2000 to 2004 and was general counsel and project manager at McGuire and Hester from 1996 to 2000. Cramer was an attorney at Cramer and Cramer from 1992 to 1996 and a litigation associate at Bronson, Bronson and McKinnon from 1991 to 1992 and at Bell, Rosenberg and Hughes from 1989 to 1991. He served as a deputy district attorney at the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office from 1987 to 1988. Cramer earned a Juris Doctor degree from the Santa Clara University School of Law and a Bachelor of Science degree from Santa Clara University. He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Joan S. Cartwright. Cramer is a Democrat.

    Governor Brown Appoints Two to Alameda County Superior Court – Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.
     

Share This Page



  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice