PORTLAND, Maine — Gregory Nisbet won’t be spending Christmas behind bars.

The Portland landlord’s original holiday plans had been decided on Dec. 1, when a judge sentenced him to 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine for his role is Maine’s deadliest house fire in decades. Nisbet was set to report to Cumberland County Jail on Friday.

But Thursday evening Superior Court Justice Thomas Warren offered a reprieve that will keep Nisbet out of jail at least until the court rules on his request for a new trial, made earlier this week. Following an eleventh-hour conference with the landlord’s lawyer, Warren ordered that the sentence be postponed until seven days after he decides on the new request.

Nisbet was tried earlier this year on six charges of manslaughter and several misdemeanours following an accidental fire that killed six young adults at his Noyes Street duplex in 2014. Warren, who heard the case, acquitted the landlord on every count except a single fire code violation tied to the size of the windows on his building’s third floor, where three people were found dead.

In a rare criminal conviction against a Maine landlord, the court ruled that the windows were too small and did not open wide enough to provide a second means of escape. But this week, defense attorney Matthew Nichols asked that the single conviction be dropped or his client be given a new trial, claiming the state had not given him an crucial document until after the conviction was handed down.

The document, a 2013 memo by a Maine fire inspector, states that the windows in buildings built before 1976 are allowed to be slightly smaller than those in more recent structures. The third-floor windows in Nisbet’s old building qualify for this exemption, according to Nichols.

“If said memorandum had been provided in a timely fashion, it probably would have changed the verdict in the case,” Nichols wrote in the motion.

But the historic exemption actually came up during the trial, when a state fire marshal mentioned it in testimony. Warren’s ruling was also tied to how wide the windows opened.

State prosecutors have 21 days from the date of filing to respond to the request for a new trial. If Warren rules against Nisbet’s request, the landlord may still appeal his conviction.