The Associated Press

Lawyer: Deadly Oakland fire wrongly blamed on suspect

Micah Allison
Micah Allison, wife of Derick Almena, speaks during a media conference on Friday, June 9, 2017, in San Francisco. Derick Almena, the operator of an Oakland warehouse where 36 people died in a massive fire, is experiencing a near mental breakdown following his arrest on involuntary manslaughter charges, his attorneys said Friday. (AP Photo/Ben Margot) Source: The Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Lawyers for the operator of an Oakland warehouse charged in a fire that killed three dozen partygoers who were packed into the building aired possible defenses on Friday to a prosecution case that legal experts say appears to be strong.

Derick Almena, 47, was charged with involuntary manslaughter after authorities said he illegally converted a warehouse into housing and an entertainment venue that lacked fire safety systems and was packed with highly flammable material.

Almena

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