Boone hotel operator indicted in deaths of couple, Rock Hill boy

Posted January 8, 2014 6:40 pm | Filed under Featured, Local News

Watauga County, N.C. prosecutors Wednesday announced three indictments of involuntary manslaughter and one count of assault inflicting serious injury in connection with the deaths at the Boone Best Western.

The charges were filed against Barry Damon Mallatere, who is in charge of Appalachian Hospitality Management, which oversees the hotel.

Three people died in the same room over the spring and summer of 2013, including Jeffrey Williams 11, of Rock Hill. Williams’ mother, Jeannie, suffered life-threatening injuries when the two stayed overnight in the hotel in June. Daryl and Shirley Jenkins died in the same room in June.

The cause of the deaths was deadly levels of carbon monoxide that had seeped into the room from an exhaust pipe for the hotel’s pool heater.

That metal pipe ran under the room, and investigators believe it was corroded and the gas seeped in through a hole in the fireplace or the air conditioning unit. The water heater was installed in the motel without proper permitting from the town of Boone.

WSOC-TV contributed to this report.