Closing arguments over in trial of landlord in deadly fire

AP News
Posted: Oct 07, 2016 3:56 PM

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Closing arguments have wrapped up in the trial of a landlord of a Portland, Maine, building where six people died in a fire.

It could be days before the judge issues a verdict in building owner and landlord Gregory Nisbet's bench trial.

Nisbet faces six counts of manslaughter stemming from the 2014 fire, among the deadliest in the state in decades. He'd become the first landlord in Maine found guilty of manslaughter for an accidental fire if convicted.

Prosecutor Bud Ellis used his closing statement Friday to make the case the building was unsafely operated as an illegal rooming house. He says the building was "not anything close to resembling a family residence" and was unsafe for tenants.

Nisbet's defense maintains the building was being used as an apartment by tenants who lived like family.