updated 11/24/2009 3:26:22 PM ET 2009-11-24T20:26:22

Two owners of a Chicago nightclub where 21 people were killed in a stampede down a stairwell six years ago must go to prison, a judge says.

Cook County Circuit Court Judge Daniel Gillespie sentenced Dwain Kyles and Calvin Hollins Tuesday to serve two years each.

The men were convicted in September of indirect criminal contempt for disobeying a court order to close the second floor of their E2 night club. They claimed they didn't understand the order.

But city prosecutors say Kyles and Hollins were motivated by pure greed in packing the nightclub with too many people.

Many victims were trapped and crushed after patrons rushed into the stairwell early Feb. 17, 2003, after someone used pepper spray to break up a fight inside the club.

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