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E2 owners get probation for role in fatal 2003 stampede

The owners of the E2 nightclub, Dwayne Kyles (left) and Calvin Hollins at a press conference after an appellate court threw out their sentences in 2013. | Sun-Times file photo

The two owners of the nightclub that was the scene of a deadly stampede in 2003 will not face prison time after a new sentencing hearing.

Calvin Hollins and Dwain Kyles co-owned the E-2 nightclub and were each sentenced to two years’ probation and 500 hours of community service by a Cook County judge on Friday.

“Prior to the hearing, the parties reached agreement on a proposed sentence of 500 hours of community service by each defendant,” City Corporation Counsel Steve Patton said in a statement.

The pair was convicted in 2009 of criminal contempt for violating a judge’s order to close the second floor of the club, and were sentenced to two years in prison. They appealed, and in 2013, an appellate court agreed that the building code violation was not the “proximate cause” of the deaths and the prison sentence was too harsh. The court ordered the pair be sentenced again.

“We hope this finally brings closure to everyone affected by this tragedy, including the families of the 21 young people who lost their lives,” Patton said.

On Feb. 17 2003, 21 people died and 50 were injured in a stampede at the E-2 on the Near South Side. Patrons rushed the stairwell to get to exits on the first floor after security guards used pepper spray to stop a fight.

“Mr. Kyles and Mr. Hollins are thankful that this lawsuit, which has been pending for more than 12 years, is finally coming to an end,” said Victor Henderson, Kyles’ attorney, adding that the pair “embraced” the order for community service.