April trial date set for 2 charged in warehouse fire deaths

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A California judge has set an April 2 start date for the trial of two men charged in the deaths of 36 people in an Oakland warehouse fire.

Derick Almena and Max Harris are each charged with 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter.

Judge James Cramer last month scuttled a plea deal, citing Almena’s lack of remorse. Cramer said he believed Harris was truly remorseful, but the plea bargain was a package deal, so both were rejected.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported Friday that the judge’s firm trial date could crumble if he grants a motion to reinstate the plea agreement or if he decides the case should be moved to another county to ensure an unbiased jury.

Pre-trial hearings have been set for Oct. 12 and Nov. 2.


Information from: San Francisco Chronicle, http://www.sfgate.com

Categories: California News