PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) The man whose rock band pyrotechnics display triggered a deadly nightclub fire should not have to testify in civil lawsuits about the case because he still could face criminal charges elsewhere, his lawyer said Wednesday.
Daniel Biechele, former tour manager for the band Great White, pleaded guilty last year to state involuntary manslaughter charges for his role in the February 2003 fire, which killed 100 people. Sparks from Biechele's pyrotechnics ignited flammable soundproofing foam on the walls of The Station nightclub in West Warwick, starting the fire that engulfed the building and trapped panicked concertgoers.
Lawyers who represent a few hundred victims' relatives and fire survivors want to question Biechele as part of their lawsuits against dozens of defendants, including the state of Rhode Island, the former town fire marshal, members of Great White and various foam manufacturers.
Biechele, now serving a four-year prison sentence, is among those sued. His lawyer, Tom Briody, said some questions the plaintiffs want to ask of his client could elicit potentially incriminating answers.