GREAT WHITE: Station Fire Evidence Being Sorted

Paul Edward Parker of The Providence Journal reports:

The attorney general's office yesterday began sorting through the mountains of evidence it gathered in the Station nightclub fire case as the first step toward making some of it public, a spokesman said yesterday.

When Attorney General Patrick C. Lynch wrote to the relatives of the fire victims two weeks ago to notify them there would be no trial, he promised to try to answer lingering questions in the case by making public the evidence investigators had gathered.
"This is a huge undertaking," spokesman Michael J. Healey said yesterday. "There are boxes and boxes and boxes of information."

Included in the evidence gathered are autopsy reports, transcripts of 10 months of secret grand jury proceedings, statements given to the police, crime scene photographs and audio and video recordings.

Yesterday, The Providence Journal submitted a formal request for all the evidence that investigators had collected.

On Friday, the brothers who owned the nightclub, Michael A. and Jeffrey A. Derderian, entered no contest pleas to 100 counts of involuntary manslaughter, one for each of the 100 people who died in the Feb. 20, 2003, fire. As part of a plea deal to which prosecutors objected, Michael Derderian, 45, was sentenced to serve four years in prison. Jeffrey Derderian, 39, was sentenced to 500 hours of community service.

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