DA’s Decision To Press Charges Into CO Deaths at Best Western in Boone To Come Down Mid-January

Published Wednesday, December 11, 2013 at 12:23 pm

By Jesse Wood

Dec. 11, 2013. Last week, investigators with the Boone Police Department met with District Attorney Jerry Wilson and Chief Prosecutor Britt Springer and presented them with a “very detailed and thorough” report of its criminal investigation into the tragic deaths at the Best Western in Boone. 

A scene of Best Western from two days ago when the hotel was under control of authorities. Photo by Ken Ketchie

A scene of Best Western when the hotel was under control of authorities. Photo by Ken Ketchie

In a recent release, Wilson noted, “We will now carefully review the report and determine, based upon the evidence, what, if any, criminal charges should brought. Considering the length and detail of the report it will take some time to go through it.  We hope to announce our decision by the middle of January.”

On Wednesday morning, Springer added that the case consists of thousands of pages. 

“Looking over it morning and night, it will take at least a couple of weeks for me to process and then decide on any appropriate charges,” Springer said. “I will be personally handling the case, so I want to make sure I have my head wrapped around all of the evidence before the State goes forward with any charges. 

Read prior article for more information:

Boone PD To Present Its Investigative Case File Regarding Best Western CO Deaths to DA’s Office Today

By Jesse Wood

Dec. 5, 2013. The Boone Police Department will present its investigative case file regarding the carbon monoxide deaths in Room 225 of the Best Western in Boone to the Office of the District Attorney today after wrapping up its criminal probe, according to a release Thursday from the Boone Police Department. 

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

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

The two agencies – plus Boone’s Planning & Inspections department – last met on Nov. 6. At the time, District Attorney Jerry Wilson and Chief Prosecutor Britt Springer requested more information from the Boone Police Department. Neither the Boone Police Department or the Office of the District Attorney would comment on what the additional information concerned. 

When asked for specifics last month, Capt. Andy LeBeau said, “No, I really can’t. I don’t want the media to tell certain people we are coming to interview them.”

Last month, Springer said that once the completed case file was presented to the Office of the District Attorney, it would then be decided whether or not criminal charges would be filed. As LeBeau said, it isn’t the police department’s “position” to determine whether criminal conduct occurred. 

While little details of the investigation have been released, 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. 

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