Judge: Oakland fire lawyers can’t discus case outside court

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — A Northern California judge has barred lawyers from publicly discussing the case of two men charged for their roles in the deaths of three dozen people at a warehouse illegally converted into an entertainment venue where a fire broke out.

Judge Trina Thompson on Friday granted a prosecutor’s request to silence the defendants’ lawyers outside court.

Derick Almena and Max Harris are each charged with 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter in connection with the 2016 Oakland fire. Almena rented the warehouse and prosecutors charge him with illegally converting the structure into an entertainment venue and live-work space for artists. Harris helped Almena collect rent and schedule concerts.

Prosecutors argued the gag order will ensure a fair trial scheduled for April 2 by preventing potential jurors from hearing about the case.

Categories: California News