Pier 34 owner released from house arrest

May 30, 2008 9:52:54 AM PDT
A businessman who owned a Philadelphia pier that collapsed eight years ago, killing three women, is done with his house arrest sentence. A city judge on Friday released 65-year-old Michael Asbell after 11 months of home confinement.

Prosecutors say inspectors repeatedly warned Asbell and his business partner that their nightclub pier had severe structural problems. When it did collapse into the Delaware River in May 2000, three young women were killed and dozens of other patrons were injured.

Asbell, who lives in Merion, now must serve probation. He also must perform 1,000 hours of community service.

The families of the victims say they are still disappointed by Asbell's light sentence.


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