The brothers who owned The Station nightclub in Providence, R.I., where a fast-moving fire killed 100 people in 2003, have agreed to plead no contest to involuntary manslaughter charges, effectively ending the criminal prosecution against them, reports the Providence Journal. Judge Francis Darigan agreed to a sentence that calls for no jail time for one of the brothers, Jeffrey Derderian. Michael Derderian, would serve four years in prison. That sentence is identical to the one Darigan imposed on Daniel Biechele, tour manager for rock band Great White who set off fireworks that started the fire.
In a letter to the families of victims, Attorney General Patrick Lynch blasted the sentences. “Most significantly, I strongly disagree with the court’s intention to sentence Jeffrey Derderian to less than jail,” he said. Several survivors of the fire and the brother of a man who died in the fire expressed relief last night that the criminal cases are coming to an end, if not satisfaction with the outcome. “I lost people in that fire. I lost friends in that fire. It’s not going to bring them back,” said Cara Ann Del Sesto, who, with her twin sister, Lisa Ann Del Sesto, was a regular at the nightclub. “People are going to be [upset]. They wanted to see them hung from the nearest tree — myself included.” She added, “I’m just happy it’s over. It’s over. I don’t have to relive it anymore.”