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Men charged in warehouse fire deaths to appear in court

August 17, 2018

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The two men charged in the deaths of 36 people in an Oakland warehouse fire are scheduled to appear in court for the first time since a judge scuttled their plea deal.

Judge James Cramer said he couldn’t accept a plea bargain citing Derick Almena’s lack of remorse. Cramer said he believed Max Harris was truly remorseful, but the plea bargain was a package deal so both were rejected.

Almena and Harris are each charged with 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter.

On Thursday, The Associated Press obtained a letter District Attorney Nancy O’Malley sent Cramer informing him that prosecutors would not negotiate a plea deal with Almena or Harris. She also asked for Cramer to set a trial date as soon as possible.

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