Great White Members Subpoenaed
Five witnesses, including two members of
Derderian is scheduled to go to trial in Kent County Superior Court in Rhode Island July 31st. He faces criminal charges in the deaths of 100 people in his nightclub February 20, 2003. His brother and club co-owner, Jeffrey Derderian, is expected to face trial after Michael’s trial is finished.
Craig Berke, spokesman for the Rhode Island judiciary, released the names of five subpoenaed witnesses May 23rd, and prosecutors plan to present testimony from all the “material witnesses,” according to The Providence Journal.
Former Great White bass player David Filice and drummer Eric Powers have been subpoenaed.
Great White was onstage the night of the fire, and former tour manager Dan Biechele has admitted to launching pyrotechnics that ignited the blaze. Biechele recently pleaded guilty to manslaughter charges and was sentenced to four years in prison.
It was not clear if Great White singer Jack Russell and guitarist Mark Kendall will be asked to testify. Second guitarist Ty Longley died in the fire. The filings say the two subpoenaed men witnessed the fire and were familiar with the placement of the foam in the club. The foam was highly flammable and allegedly installed by the Derderians.
The subpoena also says the two men are “familiar with the history of the use” of pyrotechnic devices known as gerbs to the band, according to the Journal.
Also subpoenaed is Michael Mikutowicz, who managed and played in a group called Believer, which last played The Station September 13, 2002, according to the paper.
According to court papers, Mikutowicz gave Rhode Island State Police a copy of a contract he had to play the club. The rider specified that no pyro could be stored in the band’s dressing room and the manager reportedly told police it was created after a band member witnessed a musician from another band loading a pyro device in their dressing room while smoking a cigarette.
Believer’s bass player complained loudly to management, Mikutowicz told police. The report states, “Mikutowicz advised that after that incident they included the ‘no pyrotechnic’ clause in all of their riders at the club due to the potential danger to life and equipment.”
Mikutowicz reportedly told police he never saw other bands use fireworks in The Station.
The Believer manager also apparently once found several pieces of white foam near a trash container outside the club and used some to “shock absorb” bass equipment, according to the Journal. He gave a piece of it to police for their investigation.