Project manager pleads guilty in 2011 fireworks explosion that k - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Project manager pleads guilty in 2011 fireworks explosion that killed 5

(Image: Hawaii News Now/File) (Image: Hawaii News Now/File)

By JENNIFER SINCO KELLEHER
Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) - A project manager of a company accused of mishandling fireworks that led to a deadly 2011 Hawaii explosion has pleaded guilty.

Carlton Finley pleaded guilty Friday to improperly storing explosives. In exchange for his plea, prosecutors will dismiss charges in an indictment including conspiracy and making a false statement.

A grand jury indicted Finley, the company Donaldson Enterprises and its director of operations Charles Donaldson. Donaldson and the company are scheduled to go to trial next month.

According to Finley's plea agreement, he knowingly allowed seized fireworks to be stored illegally. He faces up to a year incarceration.

Five Donaldson employees were killed in a blast so ferocious it scorched trees 40 feet away. The company had a contract to dispose of fireworks seized by federal law enforcement.

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