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E2 Nightclub Stampede: Owners Dwain Kyles And Calvin Hollins Get 2 Years For Contempt

11/24/09 03:27 PM ET   AP

Club
n unidentified chicago police officer tries to drag people to safety from a stack of people jammed into the bottom of a crowded staircase in this security camera image of the E2 nightclub stampede that killed 21 people Feb. 17, 2003 in Chicago that was released Friday, Feb. 28, 2003 by Chicago Police. 21 people died when crowds rushed to exits after pepper spray was reportedly used on the dance floor to break up a fight. (AP Photo/Courtesy Chicago Police Dept.)

CHICAGO — A judge says two owners of a Chicago nightclub where 21 people were killed in a stampede down a stairwell six years ago must go to prison.

Cook County Circuit Court Judge Daniel Gillespie sentenced Dwain Kyles and Calvin Hollins Tuesday to two years each.

The men were convicted in September of indirect criminal contempt for disobeying a court order to close the second floor of their E2 night club. They claimed they didn't understand the order.

But city prosecutors say Kyles and Hollins were motivated by pure greed in packing the nightclub with too many people.

Many victims were trapped and crushed after patrons rushed into the stairwell early Feb. 17, 2003 after someone used pepper spray to break up a fight inside the club.

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Filed by Ben Goldberger  |