Men charged in California warehouse fire face April trial
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Two men who face criminal charges for a Northern California warehouse fire that killed 36 people are scheduled to stand trial April 2.
A retired Alameda County judge was assigned Monday to preside over a trial that has been delayed several times since the fire in an Oakland, California warehouse killed 36 people at an unpermitted concert two years ago.
Derick Almena and Max Harris each face 36 charges of involuntary manslaughter.
Prosecutors say Almena rented the warehouse and illegally converted it into an entertainment venue and living and working quarters for artists. Prosecutors say Harris helped collect rent and organize music concerts in a warehouse permitted only to store goods. They allege the two men turned the warehouse with few exits into a death trap of flammable clutter.