GREAT WHITE Nightclub Fire: Station Witness List At Issue

Paul Edward Parker of The Providence Journal reports that state prosecutors have asked a Superior Court judge to block 23 of the witnesses that Station nightclub owner Michael A. Derderian has said he may call in his trial on involuntary manslaughter charges that is scheduled to begin Tuesday.

In motions filed the last two days, prosecutors argue that the testimony of 19 of the witnesses would not be relevant to the case. They say that, for two other witnesses, the defense has not complied with court rules that require both sides to share with each other information about what evidence will be presented at the trial, a process called discovery. For two others, prosecutors say that the witnesses' testimony would not be relevant and that the defense did not comply with discovery rules.

Derderian is charged with involuntary manslaughter in the Station fire, which claimed 100 lives. His brother, Jeffrey A. Derderian, the club's other owner, will face the same charges in a later trial.

Eighteen of the defense witnesses that prosecutors seek to block are owners, employees or otherwise associated with some of the venues at which rock band GREAT WHITE played before its Feb. 20, 2003, show at The Station. The West Warwick nightclub burned down after GREAT WHITE's tour manager shot off fireworks when the band took the stage.

Read more at The Providence Journal.

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