Former Great White Manager Pleads Guilty For His Part In Tragic '03 Night Club Fire
January 31, 2006 at 2:12 PM (PT)
Former GREAT WHITE manager, DANIEL BIECHELE, 29, has agreed to plead guilty to 100 counts of involuntary manslaughter for his role in the '03 WEST WARWICH, RI fire at THE STATION nightclub, reports the AP.
According to the report, BIECHELE will enter a the plea next TUESDAY (2/7) and serve no more than 10 years in prison under a deal with prosecutors that may have spared him a life sentence. BIECHELE had been charged with 200 counts of involuntary manslaughter for starting the blaze when he ignited pyrotechnics during a GREAT WHITE performance at the nightclub. Sparks from the pyrotechnics ignited highly-flammable foam lining the club's walls and ceiling, creating a fire that killed 100 people and injured more than 200 in the fourth-deadliest nightclub fire in the country's history.
they deserve much more than this ... this is absolutely wrong
Some victims' relatives were angered by news of the plea bargain, saying they hoped to see BIECHELE go to trial. Each manslaughter charge carries up to 30 years in prison. "For the 100 victims, and for all the ones that are burnt and scarred and everything else, they deserve much more than this -- not a plea bargain. This is absolutely wrong," said DIANE MATTERA, whose 29-year-old daughter, TAMMY, was killed in the fire.
The report does not say whether BIECHELE will cooperate with prosecutors in the case against club owners JEFFREY and MICHAEL DERDERIAN, who are each charged with 200 counts of involuntary manslaughter for allegedly installing the aforementioned foam, which is a violation of the state fire code.
BIECHELE has said through his lawyer that he had permission to light the pyrotechnics during the concert, but the DERDERIANS dispute that claim.