The Latest: Witness says he paid rent to warehouse defendant - KUSI News - San Diego, CA

The Latest: Witness says he paid rent to warehouse defendant

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OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - The Latest on a court hearing to determine whether two men will stand trial in the worst building fire in the U.S. in more than a decade (all times local):

5:15p.m.

The second witness at a court hearing for two men charged in a fatal warehouse fire in Oakland says he paid rent to one of the defendants to live there.

Jose Avalos testified Wednesday that Derick Almena told him to pay Max Harris rent for his loft space at the warehouse known as the Ghost Ship. A fire there on Dec. 2, 2016 killed 36 people.

The warehouse had been illegally converted into living space for artists, was cluttered and had no fire alarms or sprinklers.

Prosecutors are presenting evidence this week to persuade a judge that Almena and Harris should stand trial on involuntary manslaughter charges.

Prosecutors say the men knowingly created a firetrap and deceived the building's owner, police and fire officials. The two have pleaded not guilty.

1:15 p.m.

A witness at a court hearing for two men charged in the deadliest building fire in the U.S. in more than a decade says he thought he was going to die in the fire.

Aaron Marin testified Wednesday that the warehouse in Oakland, California known as the Ghost Ship was full of smoke and people were coming back up a flight of stairs unable to get out.

That's when Marin said he sat there and accepted that his life was over. The fire on Dec. 2, 2016 killed 36 people.

Prosecutors are calling witnesses and presenting evidence this week against Derick Almena and Max Harris for a judge to decide whether they should stand trial on involuntary manslaughter charges.

Almena rented the warehouse in 2013 and lived there with his family. Harris also lived there and helped Almena book musical acts and sublet the space to artists.

11 a.m.

A witness in a preliminary hearing for two men charged in the deaths of 36 people killed in a fire at a warehouse in Oakland testified the space was like a museum filled with musical instruments, trailers and other items.

Musician Aaron Marin described in court Wednesday that entering the warehouse was like going into "Disneyland."

Prosecutors are calling witnesses and presenting evidence this week against Derick Almena and Max Harris for a judge to decide whether they should stand trial on involuntary manslaughter charges.

Almena rented the warehouse in 2013 and lived there with his family. Harris also lived in the building and helped Almena book musical acts and sublet the space to artists.

Almena and Harris were each charged with 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter for the Dec. 2, 2016, fire.

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