LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A judge Wednesday declined to dismiss the involuntary manslaughter case against an architect charged in the death of a veteran firefighter.
Gerhard Albert Becker, 48, was arrested in February 2012 after the ceiling of a 12,500 square-foot Hollywood Hills home fell on 61-year-old Glenn Allen in 2011.
The 36-year veteran of the Los Angeles Fire Department got trapped when a fire in the home burned through plastic sprinkler pipes in the attic and filled the space with water that collapsed the ceiling.
Allen had to be cut out and later died at a local hospital.
Becker was the architect who designed and oversaw construction of the residence. Prosecutors say he had installed outdoor fireplaces inside the home.
“The defense argued the courts should dismiss the case because he was not allowed to present evidence that the city inspector gave him permission to build the defective fireplace that caused the death,” prosecutor Sean Carney told KNX1070’s Claudia Peschuitta.
“It was clear that the defendant did not rely on anything that the city inspector told him since he tried at almost every opportunity to circumvent requirements the city was imposing on him.”
Becker pleaded not guilty and is expected to go on trial later this year.