OAKLAND, Calif. – A California judge has reduced bail for a man charged with involuntary manslaughter in connection with an Oakland warehouse fire that killed 36 people.
But the East Bay Times reports that an Alameda County judge declined Friday to release 47-year-old Derick Almena on his own recognizance. Judge Kevin Murphy said the former leader of the Ghost Ship artists' collective might not return to court if he were released.
Bail was reduced from $1.08 million to $750,000.
Almena and 27-year-old Max Harris were each charged with 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter for the Dec. 2, 2016, fire. Almena rented the warehouse. Prosecutors say Harris helped him sublet living space in the building. Harris' bail was previously reduced to $750,000.
Almena is scheduled to enter a plea on Sept. 13.