Local News in Brief : Ex-Owner of Chemical Company Denied Bail

A San Fernando Superior Court judge Thursday denied bail for the former owner of a Sun Valley chemical company who was convicted last month of failing to dispose of hazardous chemicals.

Judge Fred Rimerman refused to set bail for Marianne Pratter, 51, who has been in custody at Sybil Brand Institute for Women since her Dec. 15 conviction. Pratter is to be sentenced April 5.

Ronald A. Ziff, Pratter’s attorney, told the court that his client should be released until her sentencing because she suffers from high blood pressure and is involved in a custody battle over her 14-year-old son.

“She is not a flight risk,” Ziff said. “She has many ties to this community. . . .”


A San Fernando Superior Court jury last month convicted Pratter of failing to dispose of the hazardous chemicals, which burned in an April 14, 1985, fire in the 9000 block of De Garmo Avenue. Fifty-six people were injured, none seriously, from breathing fumes from the blaze.

Between April and August, 1985, Pratter illegally stored toxic and flammable chemicals, a violation of the state Health and Safety Code.

Pratter faces a maximum of three years in state prison.