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DA’s Decision on Whether To File Charges in Best Western Carbon Monoxide Deaths Expected Wednesday

Editor’s Note: Because of adverse weather conditions, this press conference, originally scheduled for Monday afternoon, has been rescheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 8, at 4:30 p.m.

By Jesse Wood

Jan. 3, 2014. On Wednesday, the District Attorney’s Office is expected to announce its decision on whether criminal charges should be filed in regards to the three carbon monoxide deaths that occurred in Room 225 of the Best Western hotel in Boone between April and July 2013.

In early June, Boone Fire Chief Jimmy Isaacs (left) looks on as Boone Police Chief Dana Crawford reads a prepared statement about the deficient exhaust system for the pool’s water heater. Photo by Jesse Wood
Boone Fire Chief Jimmy Isaacs (left) looks on as Boone Police Chief Dana Crawford reads a prepared statement during a press conference in June. Photo by Jesse Wood

On Friday, the Boone Police Department sent out a notice announcing the press briefing for Wednesday, Jan. 8, at 4:30 p.m. to be located in the downstairs courtroom of the Watauga County Courthouse.

In December, the Chief Prosecutor Britt Springer announced that the District Attorney’s Office hoped to come to a decision by the middle of January after studying the case file consisting of thousands of pages.

Shane Robbins, the public information officer for the Boone Police Department, said that the police department sent out the notice on behalf of the DA’s Office.

Springer said in an email on Friday that she will give a statement on how the DA’s office plans to proceed. 

In June, local, state and federal investigators confirmed that a deficient exhaust system for the pool water heater at the Best Western in Boone led to the deaths of three lodgers who stayed in Room 225 earlier this year.

Room 225 is situated above the pool’s mechanical room that houses the water heater. 

The hotel closed down in June following the death of Jeffrey Williams, 11, of Rock Hill, S.C., who stayed in Room 225. His death led to the discovery that Daryl and Shirley Jenkins, both of Longview, Wash., and both in their early 70’s, also died of carbon monoxide poisoning in Room 225 on April 16.

The hotel reopened in July, while the pool area and Room 225 remain closed to the public. 

For more stories on this matter, click here