Station Testimony May Be Released

Rhode Island Superior Court Judge Joseph Rodgers Jr. has ordered a closed hearing for December to consider a request to make public secret grand jury testimony regarding The Station nightclub fire.

Attorney General Patrick Lynch filed a petition to release the testimony. Rodgers said grand jury testimony is considered secret but, “As with most rules, there are exceptions.” He said he would consider if there was a legitimate reason to release the testimony during the December 13th hearing.

Prior to the hearing, club owners Michael and Jeffrey Derderian and former Great White tour manager Dan Biechele – the three men indicted on manslaughter charges for the fire – can respond to the attorney general’s petition.

The grand jury testimony could answer key lingering questions, such as why local fire inspectors who visited the nightclub before the fire failed to note the flammable foam on the walls. The Derderian brothers accepted plea agreements that spared them trials with intense media attention.

“We’re very, very interested in the contents of the grand jury testimony, and we would be very interested in the release of that material,” said Steven Minicucci, an attorney in the civil case who represents fire survivors and relatives of those killed.

One hundred people died from the nightclub fire of February 20, 2003, after Biechele launched pyrotechnics onstage at the beginning of a Great White performance.