DETROIT (AP) — Lawyers for a Michigan couple who owned a home where five immigrants died say the fire was a tragic accident that doesn’t justify years in prison.
Roger Tam and his wife, Ada Mei Lei, are returning to federal court Thursday.
A teenager and four men from Mexico were in the U.S. illegally and working at a Detroit-area restaurant that was owned by the couple. The five died in 2016 while living in the basement of Tam’s Novi home.
Tam and Lei pleaded guilty to harboring immigrants. The government wants a seven-year prison sentence, saying the couple created a high risk of death.
Defense lawyers deny it. They say the basement was finished with two bedrooms, a kitchen and living area. The fire has been linked to careless smoking.
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