Nightclub Owner Granted Early Release

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The man jailed following the fire tragedy at a Great White club gig in Rhode Island has been granted an early release from prison - but will not be freed until next year (09). Michael Derderian, 46, was jailed for four years after 100 Great White fans were killed after a blaze swept through his The Station nightclub in 2003. The band's guitarist Ty Longley also perished and more than 200 were injured. Derderian was deemed eligible for parole this month (Jan08) after completing one-third of his sentence, and at a hearing on Wednesday (16Jan08) he was granted an early release. But the parole board ordered Derderian - who pleaded no contest to 100 counts of involuntary manslaughter in September 2006 - to serve more than three years of his four-year sentence before being paroled in October 2009. Great White tour manager Daniel Biechele, who lit pyrotechnics which then set sound-absorbing foam on the club's walls and ceiling ablaze, will be released from prison in March (08) after serving just six months of a four-year sentence. Biechele pleaded guilty to 100 counts of involuntary manslaughter for his part in the inferno.


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