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Great White - Station Fire Update: Nightclub Owner Tries To Block Crowd Size Testimony

By Newsferatu, Writer
Tuesday, August 1, 2006 @ 2:26 PM


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From the Boston Globe:

Lawyers for one of the owners of a nightclub where a fire killed 100 people three years ago have asked a judge to prevent testimony about the number of people who were in the building on the night of the blaze.

Prosecutors say they plan to prove that The Station nightclub was crowded beyond capacity with 458 people on the night of February 20th, 2003, when a fire caused by a rock band's pyrotechnics consumed the West Warwick concert venue.

But lawyers for club owner Michael Derderian, who is scheduled to stand trial starting September 5th, say they are not disputing the number of people in the club and that it would be an unnecessary waste of time for the state to try and establish the crowd size.

In a written response, prosecutors accused the defense of trying "to deprive the jury of a true and accurate picture of this horrific event."

Defense lawyers also have asked to prevent witnesses from testifying about the crowd size at The Station at earlier concerts, saying those opinions would be unscientific and prejudicial.

A judge was to hear arguments about the requests in court Wednesday.

The fire began when sparks used by the heavy metal band Great White ignited flammable soundproofing foam placed around the stage. Former Great White tour manager Daniel Biechele is serving a four-year prison sentence after pleading guilty earlier this year to lighting the pyrotechnics without the required permit.

Derderian and his brother, Jeffrey, who also owned the club, are each charged with 200 counts of involuntary manslaughter -- two counts under separate legal theories for each person killed.


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