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January 16, 2008
Parole board to decide on Derderian's parole today
PROVIDENCE -- A week ago, furious relatives of some of the 100 people killed by The Station nightclub fire implored the state parole board to keep one of the club owners behind bars.
Now, Michael Derderian gets a chance to tell the board why he should be freed less than halfway into his four-year prison sentence.
Derderian, a co-owner of The Station nightclub, was scheduled to meet in prison today with the parole board, which will announce later in the day whether he'll be released early from jail.
He's eligible for parole after serving 16 months of his sentence, which he began in September 2006 after he and his brother, Jeffrey, pleaded no contest to 100 counts of involuntary manslaughter. Jeffrey Derderian was spared jail time under his plea agreement.
The Feb. 20, 2003, fire at the West Warwick club began when the rock band Great White set off pyrotechnics that ignited highly flammable foam that the Derderians installed as soundproofing on the club's walls. Besides the 100 people killed, more than 200 others were injured.
Former Great White tour manager Daniel Biechele is also serving a four-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to illegally lighting the pyrotechnics. But he's due out on parole in March and had the backing of many victims' relatives when he became eligible last fall.
In contrast, nearly 20 victims' relatives and survivors told the parole board last week that Derderian should be forced to serve out his entire prison term.
They said he had not shown adequate remorse and had shirked his responsibility as a nightclub owner to keep his patrons safe. Besides the foam, prosecutors say the club was often overcrowded, hosted other bands that used pyrotechnics and had other dangerous conditions.
Parole board chairwoman Lisa Holley has said that the while the board takes into account input from victims' relatives, it also considers factors such as the inmate's remorse, acceptance of responsibility and plans for life after prison.
Derderian's lawyer, Kathleen Hagerty, did not return a call seeking comment Tuesday.
-- The Associated Press
Posted by Jack Perry at 7:02 AM | Permalink
Linda | January 16, 2008 12:50 PM link
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