Architect pleads no contest in LA fireman death

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Associated Press

Posted on January 3, 2014 at 1:34 PM

Updated Friday, Jan 3 at 1:36 PM

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A German architect has pleaded no contest to involuntary manslaughter in the death of a Los Angeles firefighter crushed in the collapse of a ceiling during a fire at a luxury home the architect designed and built in the Hollywood Hills.

Gerhard Albert Becker entered the plea Friday and was sentenced to three years of probation and a year in county jail. However, he had already surrendered and his attorney says Becker will only serve six months in custody.

During a Feb. 16, 2011, fire at the mansion, water from a melted pipe filled a false ceiling until it collapsed on 61-year-old Firefighter Glenn Allen, who died two days later.

Authorities faulted the construction, particularly a third-floor fireplace that was designed only for outdoor use.

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