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Jury deliberations start in California warehouse fire trial

Posted at 2:06 PM, Jul 31, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-31 17:25:06-04

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — A jury has begun deciding the fate of two men on trial in connection with a deadly fire at a San Francisco Bay Area warehouse two years ago.

The Alameda County Superior Court panel began deliberations Wednesday after hearing final arguments from prosecutors.

Derick Almena and Max Harris are charged with involuntary manslaughter for the deaths of 36 people during a party at the so-called Ghost Ship warehouse in Oakland.

Prosecutors alleged the men acted with criminal negligence when they illegally converted the industrial building into a residence for artists and held unpermitted events inside.

The defendants say that they are being used as scapegoats for the tragedy and said city workers share the blame for not raising concerns about fire hazards in the warehouse.