Derick Almena, a master tenant of a shady San Francisco Bay Area warehouse that housed the deaths of 36 people in a late-night fire on Dec. 2, 2016, will appear before the court and plead guilty to involuntary manslaughter on Friday.

The unfortunate accident was the result of a fire breaking out at the warehouse during an electronic music and dance party, leaving victims trapped on the illegally constructed second floor as they reportedly had ‘little chance to escape down a narrow, ramshackle staircase.’

 This marks the second trial of the case, and it’s unlikely for Almena to serve any prison term owing to the time already spent behind bars and credit for good behavior.

Alameda County prosecutors alleged that Almena was criminally negligent when he illegally converted the industrial Oakland warehouse into a residence to accommodate artists and their gigs.  As per a report on “U.S. News”, the two-story building with flammable materials, extension cords had no smoke detectors or sprinklers.

The tragic case saw a jury split over whether Almena deserved to be convicted, after all. Almena was put behind bars since 2017 but was released in May after the COVID-19 outbreak ravages across the globe—prisons included. A bail bond of $150,000 was added.

Eventually, the jury also found co-defendant Max Harris, who was the Ghost Ship's “creative director” and would collect rent, not guilty at the same trial.

“My heart dropped, especially when I heard it was going to be a slap on the wrist. I want my daughter back; we want to be with our family members who died. He gets to be with his family,” said Colleen Dolan, mother of victim Chelsea Faith Dolan to East Bay Times, while further adding that families weren’t aware of the plea deal possibility until last Wednesday. Almena is currently under house arrest in the city of Upper Lake, with his wife and children.

Tony Serra, Almena's attorney, said Thursday that he would not be able to divulge further details owing to the gag order imposed on lawyers by Superior Court Judge Trina Thompson. The Alameda County district attorney's office was unavailable for comment.

house on fire In this photo, a firefighter tries to put out a fire in 'La Hune' book shop in the Saint-Germain-des-Pres district, Paris, Nov. 16, 2017. Getty Images / Karim Daher