The judge ordered Almena to serve two years in local prison and three years of compulsory supervision, after he pleaded guilty in January to 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter — one for every person killed in the fire.
However, the remainder of the nine-year prison sentence could be served via home arrest with a GPS monitor, as demonstrated by a news release from the Alameda County District Attorney’s office.
Almena was also ordered to not have any contact Max Harris, that a co-defendant who was acquitted on all 36 counts in 2019.
The deadly blaze broke out through a December 2016 electronic dance celebration at the ramshackle warehouse, that Almena leased out to artists who lived and worked there. One Oakland official previously told CNN that the building hadn’t been scrutinized in three decades.
The likely cause record said Almena”allowed and encouraged tenants to use nonconventional building materials that he collected to make their living spaces. All these nonconventional construction materials included recycled dry wood, including fence boards, shingles, window frames, wooden sculptures, tapestries, pianos, organs, wooden furniture, RV trailers, rugs, and other ramshackle pieces.”
The two-story structure also lacked crucial safety features, authorities have stated, such as fire alarms, marked exits and sprinklers and when the fire broke out, partygoers were trapped.
“Thirty-five from the thirty-six people who lost their lives in this horrible fire were attending a concert that night. They had no idea just how dangerous the building was,” Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley said in a statement . “They went to the Ghost Ship with the expectation of being amused and coming safely home.”
CNN has achieved to Almena’s lawyer for comment.
He’ll also have to pay restitution in an amount that will be set by the court, according to the district attorney’s news release. A restitution hearing is scheduled for April 30.