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Man indicted in Boone motel deaths

By News 5 Staff, news@wcyb.com
Callan Gray, cgray@wcyb.com
Published On: Jan 08 2014 11:23:06 AM CST
Updated On: Jan 08 2014 11:00:00 PM CST

Boone, North Carolina authorities say a grand jury has returned four true bills of indictment in the deaths of three people.

BOONE, N.C. -

UPDATE 10:26 p.m.: Prosecutor Britt Springer told us this is a pending criminal case that will be brought in front of a Watauga County jury.

Barry Damon Mallatere has been charged with three counts of involuntary manslaughter and one count of assault with serious bodily injury. Springer told us he's the president of Appalachian Hospitality Management and oversaw daily operations at the Best Western Plus Blue Ridge Plaza Hotel.

Springer said the Boone Police Department handed all of the evidence over to the District Attorney's Office in December. She called it a "voluminous" record.

"We looked over physical evidence, photographs, interviews," said Springer.

This has been a controversial case. Washington state residents Shirley Jenkins, 72, and Daryle Jenkins, 73, died at the hotel in April 2013. The state medical examiner's office learned on June 1 that Shirley Jenkins' toxicology reports showed carbon monoxide poisoning. The state examiner and the local medical examiner did not warn the motel's owner, Boone police or fire officials of the danger. On June 8, an 11-year-old boy from South Carolina was found dead in the same room.

Prosecutor Britt Springer told us the boy's mother suffered permanent damage from the carbon monoxide.

Police said early in the investigation that the carbon monoxide came from a pool heater that wasn't properly inspected.

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UPDATE 5:33 p.m.: A grand jury has returned four true bills of indictment in the deaths of three people.

Barry Damon Mallatere with Appalachian Hospitality Management is now charged with three counts of involuntary manslaughter and one count of assault with serious bodily injury.

A Washington state couple was found dead at the Best Western Plus Blue Ridge Plaza Hotel in April of 2012. A few weeks later an 11-year-old boy from South Carolina died in the same room. His mother was hospitalized.

Autopsies confirmed the three died from carbon monoxide poisoning, which officials blame on a faulty pool heater.

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Boone, North Carolina authorities will hold a news conference to discuss the ongoing investigation into the deaths of three people at the Best Western Plus Blue Ridge Plaza Hotel.

You may remember, a Washington state couple was found dead in the hotel back in April of last year and a few weeks later, an 11 year old boy from South Carolina died in the same room, his mother was hospitalized.

Autopsies confirmed the three died from carbon monoxide poisoning, which officials blame on a faulty pool heater.

Today's news conference is scheduled for 4:30 this afternoon.