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Man charged in deadly Oakland warehouse fire appears in court

OAKLAND, Calif. -- A man charged in a December fire that killed 36 concertgoers at an illegally converted Oakland warehouse appeared briefly in court for the first time.

Max Harris, 27, didn't enter a plea Monday on 36 charges of involuntary manslaughter. He was ordered back to court Thursday, when warehouse operator Derick Almena, 47, is scheduled to be arraigned on the same charges.

Nearly a dozen family members of the fire victims attended Almena's arraignment Thursday but none attended Harris' arraignment, which was attended by several of his family members and friends, CBS San Francisco reports.

Families of "Ghost Ship" victims face suspect in court

Authorities say the pair turned the Ghost Ship warehouse into housing and party space that lacked fire safety systems and was packed with flammable material.

Almena's lawyers say others are to blame, including an electrical utility and the fire department. They said last week they plan to file a motion of have Almena's bail reduced, CBS San Francisco reports.

Both Harris and Almena are jailed on bail of a bit more than $1 million each.

Harris' lawyer, a deputy public defender, didn't comment on the case Monday, CBS San Francisco reports.  

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