OAKLAND, California. – Two men are expected to accept plea bargain prison sentences Tuesday to solve the crime costs associated with a Northern California warehouse fire that killed three dozen party-goers on an unlicensed concert in 2016.
Derick Almena and Max Harris will plead guilty in exchange for prison sentences of less than 10 years, every Almena lawyer Tony Serra said.
They will be released after serving half of their sentence, because of time off for good behavior.
Tyler Smith and Curtis Briggs, attorneys representing Harris, said the agreement was reached after more than two hours of negotiations on Friday.
The judge asked attorneys to refrain from discussing the details until the suspects appear in court.
Alameda County prosecutor Teresa Drenick declined to comment.
Almena rented the warehouse and illegally converted into a residence and entertainment venue. Harris helped Almena collection of rent and planning for-profit music shows.
A fire quickly destroyed the structure during a December 2016 electronic music performance, the killing of 36 participants are not able to find exits.
Prosecutors say Almena and Harris turned the cluttered building into a “death trap” with little in the turns, rickety staircases and dark and dangerous passages. Each man was charged with 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter.
Almena lived in the warehouse with his wife and three children. But the family was staying in a nearby hotel the night of the fire.
Harris has also been in the warehouse and escaped the fire unharmed.
Almena the attorney-Serra, said his client agreed to confess in exchange for an eight-year prison sentence. However, the details of the deal could be amended during the long negotiations.
Serra said a plea deal saves the family of the victims and of witnesses in a process where the photos of burned bodies and other emotionally-laden evidence would be shown.
Both men have already been credited with two years ‘ imprisonment for the years they have spent in prison.