Deliberations to Restart After 3 Jurors Dismissed in Oakland Ghost Ship Warehouse Trial - NBC Chicago
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Deliberations to Restart After 3 Jurors Dismissed in Oakland Ghost Ship Warehouse Trial

Thirty-six people died in the blaze during a party at the so-called Ghost Ship warehouse back in December 2016

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    Ghost Ship Trial: 3 Jurors Dismissed; Deliberations Restart

    Three jurors have been dismissed and replaced with alternates in the trial of two men charged with involuntary manslaughter in the 2016 Oakland warehouse fire. Cheryl Hurd reports. (Published Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2019)

    Three jurors have been dismissed and replaced with alternates in the trial of two men charged with involuntary manslaughter in the 2016 Oakland warehouse fire.

    Monday's announcement comes after two weeks of jury deliberations.

    There were no immediate details on why the jurors were replaced. Deliberations must now start over with one alternate juror left.

    Thirty-six people died in the blaze during a party at the so-called Ghost Ship warehouse back in December 2016.

    The prosecution has accused Derick Almena and Max Harris of 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter. Almena and Harris face a maximum term of 39 years in state prison if they are convicted on all 36 counts.

    Prosecutors said Almena and Harris disregarded the safety of others when they illegally converted the warehouse into a residence for artists and threw unpermitted parties there.

    Almena, 49, rented the warehouse initially for the purpose of building theatrical sets inside, but then he quickly sublet the space to other artists and filled it with highly combustible materials that fueled the fire. Harris, 29, is accused of helping Almena convert the warehouse, collect rent and coordinate parties there.

    During trial, the men's attorneys raised the possibility it was caused by arsonists and argued that others shared the blame for the fire, including the city of Oakland, its fire department and the warehouse's landlord.

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.