OAKLAND, Calif. (KTVU) - After the jury in the Ghost Ship trial delivered a split verdict Thursday afternoon, defendant Max Harris was released from jail for the first time in two years, while his co-defendant Derick Almena remains in jail.
Harris was acquitted after the jury found him not guilty on all 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter, however, they were deadlocked 10-2 on whether to convict or acquit Almena.
Jurors could not reach a unanimous decision on a verdict for Almena resulting in a mistrial.
Prosecutors spoke with jurors and the victims' families on whether to seek a second criminal trial against Almena.
Alameda County Chief Assistant District Attorney Kevin Dunleavy said, "Our hearts have been with the families of the 36 victims that died in this unspeakable tragedy. That still remains our focus."
Almena's attorney Brian Getz says his client is pleased with the decision, but he is still hurt for those 36 victims and their families.
"While he's happy in a sense to be unconvicted, he's very unhappy when he thinks about what happened," Getz said.
Harris was released from Santa Rita Jail in Dublin while Almena remains behind bars awaiting his next court appearance on Oct. 4.
Deputies said Harris was quiet and reflective as they drove him to an undisclosed location adding that he did not want to make any public statements at the time.
Almena's defense attorney Tony Serra said he won't stop until his client is also out of jail.
"My position very strongly right now is try your best to get him bail, set a jury trial as quickly as I am available and in the interim prepare for trial," he said.
Serra says if there is a second trial for Almena, he fears it won't begin until March and his client will stay in jail during that time.
He believes a second trial will result in a similar outcome with either a hung jury or an acquittal.
Harris' attorneys Curtis Briggs and Tyler Smith stopped by KTVU at Noon and provided insight on how their client intends to move forward with his life.
"It's obviously a huge sense of relief for him. It's just pure joy and happiness," Smith said. "He's just trying to soak in everything."
Smith says despite that, Harris is deeply saddened by what occurred will always hold onto the grief attached to what the victims' families suffered.