Advertisement
California

Suspects in warehouse fire that killed 36 plead not guilty

la-1506540656-7b09svbn19-snap-image
Prosecutors say two men turned an Oakland warehouse into a deathtrap by converting it into a housing and entertainment venue. The two have pleaded not guilty to 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter each.
(Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

Two men have pleaded not guilty in connection with a fire that killed 36 people in an illegally converted Northern California warehouse.

Derick Almena and Max Harris entered pleas Wednesday to 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter each.

Prosecutors say the two men turned the Oakland warehouse into a deathtrap when they turned it into a housing and entertainment venue.

The 47-year-old Almena leased the warehouse, and prosecutors say 27-year-old Harris helped rent living space and organize for-profit concerts.

Advertisement

Both men lived in the warehouse along with several other tenants when a fire engulfed the structure in December during a musical performance that dozens attended.

The suspects’ lawyers say the responsibility for the fire should be determined with lawsuits in civil court rather than with criminal charges.

ALSO

Charges filed against passenger who complained of allergies on Southwest flight and was forcibly removed

Advertisement

Off-duty LAPD officer suspected of DUI in crash that killed 3 in Whittier

One arrested in connection with shooting of rapper Young Dolph in Hollywood tourist district


Newsletter
Get our Essential California newsletter
Advertisement