OAKLAND (CBS SF) — A witness for the prosecution in the Ghost Ship trial who was scheduled to testify later this week died over the weekend in a car crash, according to prosecutors.

One of the prosecuting attorneys made the announcement Monday afternoon that former tenant Robert Jacobitz was killed in a car accident in San Pablo on Sunday. According to multiple reports, Jacobitz had done some of the electrical work at the Ghost Ship Warehouse.

There were no additional details available regarding the circumstances of the crash that killed Jacobitz.

Earlier Monday, the mother of Ghost Ship fire victim Nicole Siegrist took the stand Monday over the objections of a defense attorney as testimony got underway at the trial of two men charged with 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter in the deadly blaze.

Tyler Smith, one of two lawyers for Ghost Ship creative director Max Harris, had asked Alameda County Superior Court Judge Trina Thompson that Carol Cidlik, Siegrist’s mother, not be allowed to testify as the prosecution’s first witness. He claimed her emotional testimony would impact the jury.

Smith had filed a motion, saying: “The danger of undue prejudice (against Harris and co-defendant Derick Almena in jurors’ minds) is extremely high and vastly outweighs any probative value that Ms. Cidlik’s testimony might provide.”

Thompson allowed Cidlik to testify how she received a text from her daughter as flames raced through the warehouse on the night of Dec. 2, 2016 saying simply “I’m going to die.”



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