Sentenced to four years. Suspended sentence for 11. Just came down.
Sounds about right to me. Wasn't intentional.
Biechele gets 4 years to serve
04:32 PM EDT on Wednesday, May 10, 2006
PROVIDENCE -- Superior Court Judge Francis J. Darigan today sentenced Daniel Biechele to 15 years in prison, with four to serve and 11 years suspended, for his role in setting off the disastrous Station nightclub fire.
His decision came after a tearful plea from Biechele, who had been charged with 100 counts of involuntary manslaughter, and an hour each of arguments by the prosecution and defense.
"The greatest sentence that can be imposed on you has been imposed on you by yourself," Darigan told Biechele, as he stood before the judge in court.
In handing down the much-anticipated sentence, Darigan noted Biechele's sense of remorse, good background, potential for rehabilitation and willingness to accept responsibility. He also took great pains to explain the differences between charges related to causing the death of another, from murder to involuntary manslaughter.
The sentencing follows two days of statements by relatives about the fire's victims, statements that sometimes drew laughter and often provoked tears in describing how those who died have been missed and what had made them so special.
It also comes more than three years after the Feb. 20, 2003, fire at the West Warwick club -- the worst in the state's history. It was a blaze that touched every niche of this small state. And it caught the attention of a nation, inspiring reforms of club safety rules and fire codes.