Indictments Issued In Rhode Island Club Fire
A Rhode Island grand jury issued criminal indictments today (Dec. 9) as a result of the Feb. 20 fire ignited by a pyrotechnics display at the Station nightclub in West Warwick, R.I., during a performaAfter a nearly 10-month investigation, a Rhode Island grand jury issued criminal indictments today (Dec. 9) as a result of the Feb. 20 fire ignited by a pyrotechnics display at the Station nightclub in West Warwick, R.I., during a performance by Great White. The inferno killed 100 people, including Great White guitarist Ty Longley, and injured about 200 others.
In the first indictments to date, former Great White tour manager Dan Biechele, and club owners Michael and Jeffrey Derderian were each charged with 100 counts of involuntary manslaughter with criminal negligence and 100 counts of involuntary manslaughter in violation of a misdemeanor.
They were arraigned in Kent County Superior Court; all three pleaded innocent. Bail for the Derderians was set at $50,000, and $100,000 for Biechele, who lives in Florida; all were expected to make bail by the end of the day.
Great White band members were not charged. "Obviously, we're pleased that none of the band members were indicted, and from the beginning we didn't think that would be appropriate," Great White attorney Ed McPherson tells Billboard.com. "We're also saddened that Dan Biechele was indicted for the small part he played in this horrible tragedy."
The grand jury's investigation has been conducted independently of the numerous tragedy-related lawsuits filed at the state and federal levels. It is estimated that more than $1 billion in civil actions have been filed.