The lawyer for one in all two males on trial in reference to a hearth that killed 36 individuals at a San Francisco Bay Space warehouse two years in the past informed the jury in closing arguments Tuesday that his consumer has been used as a scapegoat and the proof exhibits he ought to be acquitted.
Curtis Briggs, lawyer for Max Harris, identified that Harris had not been there when Derick Almena signed the lease in November 2013 and that it wasn’t him who threw the dance get together the night time of the hearth in December 2016. Harris, he stated, didn’t design the warehouse’s inside, which was full of rugs, furnishings and different flammable materials; it wasn’t even his stuff inside — Almena admitted that it was his. Harris didn’t even construct the steps that led to the second flooring, the place the music present was held, he added.
“But instead, they ask you to convict Max Harris anyway,” Briggs repeated after practically each instance.
“There’s a theme here: No matter what, convict Max Harris,” Briggs stated, in keeping with the East Bay Occasions .
The prosecution has accused Harris, 29, and Almena of 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter.
Prosecutors stated Almena, 49, rented the warehouse, generally known as the Ghost Ship, initially for the aim of constructing theatrical units inside, however then he rapidly sublet the house to different artists and stuffed it with extremely flamable supplies that fueled the hearth. Harris is accused of serving to Almena convert the warehouse, acquire lease and coordinate events there.
Briggs stated that the night time of the hearth, with smoke nonetheless within the air, investigators noticed in Harris a “gangly young man with a blue mohawk, dirty and with big earrings.”
“They did not see a young man who had lost seven friends in the fire,” Briggs stated.
“What they saw in that moment of sorrow . they saw a reason. They saw the ‘why.’ They saw someone who didn’t fit into the mold, and they pursued that.”
Each protection groups for Harris and Almena have launched the idea of arson as a possible explanation for the hearth. No official trigger was ever decided by investigators, so arson couldn’t be dominated out.
Briggs even advised that they didn’t rule out insurance coverage fraud; the warehouse homeowners had an insurance coverage coverage on the warehouse constructing.
“Because it wasn’t part of their investigation. Because they had their reason — the tall kid with a blue mohawk,” Briggs stated, pointing to Harris.
Briggs concluded his closing arguments Tuesday and Almena’s lawyer Tony Serra is predicted to start his within the afternoon.