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Lawyers drop out of landlord’s appeal in fire that killed 6

October 18, 2017

FILE- In this Oct. 21, 2016, file photo, Gregory Nisbet listens to Justice Thomas Warren during his trial in Portland, Maine. Lawyers for a Nisbet, a Portland landlord convicted of code violations in the wake of a fatal fire, have dropped out of the case. Nisbet initially sought a new trial after he was acquitted of six counts of manslaughter but convicted of lesser chargers. The Portland Press Herald reports Nisbet's attorneys asked to be removed from the appeal because they were not being paid. (Ben McCanna/Portland Press Herald via AP, Pool, File)

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Lawyers for a Portland, Maine, landlord convicted of code violations following the city’s deadliest fire in decades have dropped out of the case.

Landlord Gregory Nisbet was acquitted of six counts of manslaughter but convicted of lesser charges and sought a new trial. The Portland Press Herald reports his attorneys asked to be removed from the appeal because they weren’t being paid and the judge granted their request.

Nisbet or a new attorney has until Nov. 10 to file a brief.

Nisbet owned a building that caught fire in November 2014, killing six people. The fire started in a plastic disposal container for cigarette butts.

Prosecutors say the apartment house had no working smoke detectors and bedrooms became “death traps.”

The defense said the state improperly classified the home as a boarding house instead of a single-family dwelling.

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Information from: Portland Press Herald, http://www.pressherald.com

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