PROVIDENCE -- Relatives of the 100 people killed three years ago in The Station nightclub disaster will have a chance to share their pain this week in open court -- in front of the man whose pyrotechnics sparked the blaze.
Daniel Biechele, 29, will be sentenced in an unusual three-day hearing, starting today, that is expected to showcase emotionally wrenching testimonials from the victims' families.
Biechele was tour manager for the rock band Great White when he set off the display during a Feb. 20, 2003, concert, igniting a fire that swiftly enveloped the crowded nightclub. In addition to the 100 killed, 200 people were injured.
Biechele will be sentenced under a plea deal Wednesday to serve up to 10 years in prison, and prosecutors are recommending the maximum possible term. His lawyers are asking for community service instead of jail time. He was to have been the first of three men charged in the fire to stand trial. Instead, he became the first to accept responsibility by pleading guilty in February to 100 counts of involuntary manslaughter.