Ghost Ship defendant Derick Almena likely to be released from Santa Rita Jail amid COVID-19

Ghost Ship master tenant Derick Almena could soon be released from Santa Rita Jail as coronavirus cases continue to grow there.

A teleconference with a judge is scheduled for Friday morning to discuss potential conditions of release, according to one of Almena’s attorneys. It is anticipated he will have to wear an ankle monitor or be under house arrest.

Almena is accused of 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter for the deaths of three dozen people at an Oakland warehouse on December 2, 2016.

Attorney Tony Serra previously pushed for his release citing Almena’s deteriorating health conditions and a doctor’s diagnosis of physical and psychological stress. Judge Trina Thompson denied a motion for his release last month.

Almena has been in jail since June 2017, and his attorneys said his current health conditions put him at “high risk” but wouldn’t elaborate.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office reported 11 positive cases of COVID-19 at Santa Rita Jail

Almena’s attorneys want him to undergo a new medical evaluation and argue he should be allowed to leave jail for medical appointments in the future. His retrial after a previously hung jury is set for July 6 at the Rene C. Davidson Courthouse.