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Mary Alexander Interviewed Regarding Ghost Ship Criminal Case

Derick Almena, defendant in the Ghost Ship case, accepted a 9 year plea deal on Friday, January 22nd. Almena pleaded guilty to 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter resulting from The Ghost Ship fire, one of the deadliest structure fires in recent U.S. history. 

Mary Alexander, lead attorney in the case, filed a wrongful death lawsuit in December of 2016. The civil litigation listed several causes of action against the defendants, including negligence, premises liability, public nuisance and much more. Alexander reached a settlement in July 2020, after a 3 ½ year long fight, in which the city of Oakland agreed to pay $32.7 million to families of the dead, as well as to one survivor, during the first portion of the case. 

This is not the first time Almena has been sentenced; back in 2018 he was given a 9 year plea deal, which fell apart when the presiding judge said that he did not display adequate remorse for his role in the fire or resulting deaths and injuries. 

Despite what she feels is inadequate severity in Almena’s sentencing, as she told the New York Times earlier this week, she is glad that justice has been served and that she could help the mourning families reach a settlement. 

“While no amount of money can bring these people back to their families, we are grateful that we are able to bring them some sense of justice,” Alexander said.

The Ghost Ship fire was the deadliest concert fire, as well as one of the deadliest mass-casualty events, in Oakland’s history.

The following outlets spoke to Mary regarding this case:

The New York Times

CBS SF BayArea

ABC7 News

MixMag

The San Francisco Chronicle