Ghost Ship defendant Derick Almena expected to take plea deal – East Bay Times – Oakland, California

Oakland, California 2021-01-13 15:13:51 –

Auckland — Ghostship Warehouse The remaining defendant in the fire, Derrick Armena, is said to be planning a judicial transaction and could avoid further prison time.

Armena, 50, was charged with 36 manslaughter charges against three dozen dead in a ghostship warehouse fire during a party in East Auckland on December 2, 2016. In September 2019, after a four-month trial, the jury stalled at 10-2 in support of the guilty but failed to reach a unanimous decision. His co-defendant, Max Harris, turned out to be innocent.

On Wednesday, the families of 36 victims were informed by the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office that Armena had been offered a judicial transaction: he pleaded guilty to his 36 counts and expected to be sentenced to nine years in prison. It has been. However, according to his family, he will not set foot in a real prison because of the achievements and good behavior of the time he has already served.

He may be subject to an additional 1.5 years of compulsory surveillance and supervision, and 3 years of probation, as well as current house arrest.

“Especially when I heard that I slapped my wrist, my heart fell. I want to get my daughter back, I want to be with my deceased family. He will be with my family,” said victim Chelsea. Faith Doran’s mother, Colleen Doran, said.

She said her family had not been informed of the possibility of a judicial transaction before Wednesday.

“It’s over disappointment, it’s over shock. I’m disappointed and depressed because I can’t raise my emotions enough,” she said in a telephone interview.

Armena was released from prison detention in May 2020 after imprisoning a $ 150,000 bail bondsman. He has been in custody since his arrest in June 2017. He continues to be under house arrest using an ankle monitor in Upper Lake, Lake County, where his wife and children live.

The judicial transaction is scheduled to take place on January 22, and will be decided approximately one month to six weeks later.

According to Sami Long Koperman, mother of 34-year-old victim Edmond Lapine, the family due to a pandemic, lack of a fair jury pool due to publicity of the case, and public distrust of the government. Was informed. , Armena makes a judicial transaction.

“This is an insult to the victims and their families, and I believe the judicial system should not work for those killed,” Kopermann said in a statement to the newspaper. It was. “Defendants get their families, but some of us don’t. What we can expect at this point is that the courts have different views on the case. It’s not fair. . “

Koperman was aloud and angry when Armena and subsequent co-defendant Harris were first offered a judicial deal in July 2018, but eventually collapsed. As part of the petition, Armena was to serve nine years in county prison and Harris was to serve seven years. The judicial transaction was dismissed by Judge James Cramer in August 2018 after two emotional testimonies from the victim’s family. The judge found that Armena in particular did not show any regrets.

“But I don’t want these men to do any physical harm, but I want the lasting memories and consequences of their illegal activity,” Kopermann wrote in an opinion piece in the newspaper. I will.

Mary Alexander, who represents part of the family in a civil lawsuit, said Wednesday that Armena was not expected to serve enough time.

“I don’t think it’s enough time for the 36 young people killed. I’m glad he pleaded guilty and accountable. Some families weren’t looking forward to being tried again. I think, “she said.

So far, the civil lawsuit has reached a settlement with the city of Auckland, for $ 32.7 million, $ 23.5 million paid to the victim’s family and $ 9.2 million to Samuel Maxwell, who survived the fire but was seriously injured. It was. PG & E has also reached an undisclosed payment amount.

According to Alexander, a settlement has also been reached with the N family, the owner of a warehouse that rented space to master the tenant Armena. However, the settlement is pending as the Ng family plans to file for bankruptcy, which may delay income to the victim’s family.

Neither the defense counsel nor the prosecutor in the criminal case can comment because they are under the gag order of the court.

Please check for updates.

Ghost Ship defendant Derick Almena expected to take plea deal – East Bay Times Source link Ghost Ship defendant Derick Almena expected to take plea deal – East Bay Times

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