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Charges Stick In Pilots Deaths

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A Mendocino County judge has refused to dismiss murder charges against two alleged drug makers in the deaths of two fire-fighting tanker pilots. Prosecutors say Richard Mortensen of Placerville and Frank Brady of Redwood Valley started the blaze the pilots died fighting when a fire at their meth lab got out of hand. Larry Groff of Windsor and Lars Stratte of Redding died in a midair collision while battling a 242-acre fire west of Hopland in August last year. Judge Henry Nelson ordered the men to stand trial beginning November 12th on charges of murder, recklessly starting a fire and manufacturing methamphetamine.