Ghost Ship Trial: Derick Almena to serve remainder of 12-year sentence at home

Ghost Ship Trial: Derick Almena to serve remainder of 12-year sentence at home

OAKLAND, Calif. (KRON/AP) — Derick Almena, the master tenant of the Ghost Ship warehouse where 36 people were killed when a fire ignited during a 2016 dance party, has been sentenced.

Almena, 50, pleaded guilty to 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter earlier this year in exchange for a 12-year sentence.

The judge accepted his plea deal Monday.

Almena will get credit for time served and will complete the rest of his sentence at home with an ankle monitor.

Once finished, Almena will be required to complete three years of probation.

A restitution hearing is scheduled for April 30.

Almena has been on house arrest since May after being released from jail due to the coronavirus.

Ghost Ship Trial: Derick Almena to serve remainder of 12-year sentence at home
Courtesy: Vicki Behringer

Prosecutors say Almena was criminally negligent when he illegally converted the industrial Oakland warehouse into a residence and event space for artists dubbed the “Ghost Ship,” stuffing the two-story building with flammable materials and extension cords.

It had no smoke detectors or sprinklers.

Courtesy: Vicki Behringer

The Dec. 2, 2016 fire broke out at the warehouse during an electronic music and dance party, moving so quickly that victims were trapped on the illegally constructed second floor.

Prosecutors said the victims received no warning and had little chance to escape down a narrow, ramshackle staircase.

Co-defendant Max Harris was acquitted in 2019 on all counts.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Read More