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Great White - Station Fire Update: Key Witness Plans To Cite Marital Privilege

By Newsferatu, Writer
Thursday, July 6, 2006 @ 7:39 AM


Married Derderian after fire

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From The Associated Press:

A key witness in the Station nightclub trial plans to cite marital privilege and refuse to testify against her husband, one of the nightclub's co-owners, according to her lawyer.

Kristina Link, former office manager of the company that ran the nightclub, married The Station's co-owner, Michael Derderian, after a February 2003 fire there killed 100.

Link has been subpoenaed by the state to testify in Derderian's upcoming trial. But The Kent County Daily Times reported on Tuesday that the state has confirmed with Link's lawyer that she intends not to testify against Michael Derderian because she is married to him.

Derderian and his brother, Jeffrey, The Station's co-owner, have each pleaded not guilty to 200 counts of involuntary manslaughter. Michael Derderian is scheduled for trial Sept. 5.

His brother's trial has not been scheduled.

In the aftermath of the fire, Link provided investigators with information about the financial condition of the club, its workings and day-to-day decision-making.

Link also provided a grand jury detailed testimony about the operation and management of The Station nightclub, prosecutors said. She was Derderian's girlfriend at the time of her testimony.

After learning about Link's marriage to Michael Derderian, prosecutors filed a motion seeking an evidentiary hearing to determine if Link can use martial privilege as a reason not to take the stand.

The motion states that it is the witness's burden to establish the existence of the privilege. It also states that Link was able to provide "unparalleled insight" into the case.

The fire at the West Warwick nightclub began when pyrotechnics used by the band Great White ignited flammable foam lining the club's walls.

The Derderians were charged with having the flammable soundproofing foam that fueled the fire, and for alleged negligence in their management of the club.

Daniel Biechele, the former tour manager for the band, was sentenced to serve four years in prison in May after pleading guilty to setting off the explosives.


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