Oct. 5 (UPI) -- Prosecutors plan to retry a California man on manslaughter charges next year after a jury was unable to reach a verdict last month related to his involvement in the 2016 Ghost Ship warehouse fire in Oakland.
Derick Almena faces 36 counts of manslaughter in the trial scheduled for March 30. During Friday's hearing, the judge declined to lower Almena's $750,000 bail, meaning he'll have been in jail for more than three years at the start of his second trial.
Defense attorney Tony Serra said his client isn't a flight risk and that he wants to be with his wife and children.
"I am obviously really sad about this denial of bail," Almena's wife, Micah Allison, told KGO-TV in San Francisco. "All Derick wants is to be with his kids. That's all he wants all he has ever wanted and it is difficult that that was denied.
On Sept. 5, the jury said it was "hopelessly deadlocked" on Almena's charges in a trial that also acquitted another man, Max Harris. The judge declared a mistrial for Almena.
Almena, 49, rented the Ghost Ship warehouse, which he then sublet to artists. Prosecutors accused Harris of helping Almena convert the warehouse into living spaces and hold large parties. They said Almena negligently failed to install smoke alarms and other safety devices inside the warehouse, and declined to obtain inspections.
The Dec. 2, 2016, broke out during a concert on the second floor of the warehouse. Most of the victims were unable to evacuate the building via a makeshift staircase, which prosecutors called an "inadequate means of escape."