Station Defendants Could Testify

Former Great White tour manager Dan Biechele and The Station co-owners did not testify at their criminal court cases but they may have to at a pending civil trial.

Biechele pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter for igniting pyro at The Station in West Warwick, R.I., in 2003, which led to 100 deaths. Co-owners Michael and Jeffrey Derderian also pleaded guilty to similar charges, with Michael receiving a four-year prison sentence while younger brother Jeffrey got a suspended sentence and probation.

The Derderians were accused of placing flammable foam on the walls of their club, which spurred the flames.

More than 300 survivors and victims’ family members have filed a civil suit against dozens of defendants. If a U.S. District Court judge consents, Biechele and the Derderians may be deposed. Clear Channel Broadcasting and Capstar Radio Operating Company are two of the defendants because a radio station under their umbrella promoted the show that evening.

Attorneys for the victims and family members argue more evidence is necessary to evaluate claims that Clear Channel and Capstar deserve to be dismissed as defendants; hence the attempts to get Biechele and Derderian to testify.

However, Biechele’s attorney said his client has a constitutional right to refuse any questions to avoid self-incrimination. Meanwhile, the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms has investigated the fire and could still press charges against Biechele.

As for Great White, the band recently announced its 25th anniversary with a new album and tour.