Derderian Trial Begins

The trial of The Station co-owner Michael Derderian is scheduled to begin September 5th, and pre-trial motions included attempts to block 23 witnesses from testifying.

One hundred people died at Derderian’s club in West Warwick, R.I., when it caught fire in 2003 after Great White launched pyrotechnics.

Prosecutors sought to block 18 witnesses who were expected to testify whether the band Great White had launched pyrotechnics at clubs other than The Station. They argue that it is irrelevant and all that matters is if former tour manager Dan Biechele sought permission to use pyrotechnics in The Station.

Prosecutors also argue that Derderian’s habitual violations of the fire code led up to the fire deaths. They are also seeking to block testimony from Rhode Island state officials including fire marshal George Farrell who is expected to testify about when bar owners are cited for violations.

It is only relevant if Derderian violated codes, not if he was cited for them, prosecutors said. They are also wanting to block the testimony of a fire and foam expert because they argue he tested soundproofing that was different than the type found inside the club.