R.I. Nightclub Owners Plead No Contest In Fire Deaths
September 21, 2006 at 1:30 PM (PT)
MICHAEL and JEFFREY DERDERIAN -- who owned THE STATION nightclub in RHODE ISLAND that caught fire in FEBRUARY 2003 and killed 100 people, including GREAT WHITE's TY LONGLEY and WHJY/PROVIDENCE personality MICHAEL GONSALVES -- have agreed to plead no contest to 100 counts of manslaughter for their roles in blaze.
According to the PROVIDENCE JOURNAL, JEFFREY DERDERIAN will serve no jail time and 500 hours of community service, while his brother will serve four years in prison.
RHODE ISLAND Attorney General PATRICK LYNCH wrote a letter to the victims' families in which he said he vehemently opposed the plea deal accepted by Judge FRANCIS DARIGAN. The JOURNAL reports that DARIGAN "decided to accept a plea ... to spare victims' families and the state the trauma of criminal trials."
The DERDERIANS could have faced a maximum prison sentence of 30 years on each count if convicted.