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Sentencing postponed in deaths of 5 immigrants

Posted at 8:33 AM, Dec 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-06 08:33:55-05

A sentencing hearing has been postponed for a Michigan couple who owned a home where five immigrants died during an accidental house fire.

The teenager and four men from Mexico were illegally living in the U.S. and working at a Detroit-area restaurant that was also owned by the couple. The immigrants died in 2016 while living in the home's basement.

Roger Tam and his wife, Ada Mei Lei, appeared for their sentencing hearing Tuesday after pleading guilty to harboring immigrants. But the hearing was postponed until Jan. 4 because the interpreter didn't speak Cantonese.

The couple could face years in prison if a federal judge believes they created a high risk of death. Defense lawyers say the couple didn't create such a risk. The basement was finished with two bedrooms, a kitchen and living area.