9-month sentence in case tied to 5 deaths - WNEM TV 5

9-month sentence in case tied to 5 deaths

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DETROIT (AP) -

A Detroit-area man has been sentenced to nine months in prison for employing five Mexican immigrants who died in a house fire.

Federal prosecutors wanted seven years in prison for Roger Tam, who owned a restaurant. But Judge Marianne Battani (Ba-TAN'-ee) said she wouldn't hold Tam and his wife responsible for the deaths at their suburban Detroit home.

A teen and four men from Mexico were in the U.S. illegally. They died in 2016 when they failed to escape a basement fire that was linked to careless smoking. Autopsies showed three had been drinking heavily.

Tam told the judge Thursday that he was "deeply heartbroken" over the deaths. The victims lived in Tam's house and were 16 years old to 23 years old.

Tam's wife, Ada Mei Lei, wasn't given a prison sentence.

Copyright 2018 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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