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Grand jury indicts motel owner in 3 NC gas deaths

By Associated Press
Published On: Jan 08 2014 08:14:29 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 08 2014 08:15:07 PM CST
BOONE BEST WESTERN DEATHS
BOONE, N.C. -

A North Carolina prosecutor says the president of the company that owns a Boone motel where three guests were killed by poison gas that seeped into their room faces felony charges.

Prosecutor Britt Springer said a grand jury on Wednesday indicted Damon Mallatere. His company owned the Best Western Plus Blue Ridge Plaza, where police say a faulty swimming pool heater allowed carbon monoxide to seep into a motel room.

Two Washington state visitors died in April, but delays in investigating the cause led to an 11-year-old South Carolina boy dying in the same room in June.  The boy's mother nearly died.

Springer says Mallatere faces three counts of involuntary manslaughter and assault inflicting serious bodily injury.

A message left at a telephone number listed for Mallatere wasn't returned.