BOONE, N.C. -- The attorney for a man who faces charges of involuntary manslaughter for the deaths of three People who stayed at his hotel last year appeared in Superior Court on Tuesday.
Damon Mallatere faces three counts of involuntary manslaughter and one count of inflicting serious bodily injury for the deaths of the deaths of Daryl and Shirley Jenkins and 11-year-old Jeffrey Williams.
The elderly couple died in April of 2013 when they stayed at the Best Western Hotel in Boone, and Williams died seven weeks later when he and his mother stayed in the same room. Williams’ mother was seriously injured.
The deaths were attributed to carbon monoxide poisoning from a heating system to a pool that leaked into the hotel room.
Mallatere's lawyers said the deaths were an accident and not the result of criminal conduct.
"This case is based on one thing: negligence up to the level of criminal negligence," said Dudley Witt, Mallatere's Defense lawyer.
"We're comfortable with a jury system; we're comfortable with 12 people. After hearing the evidence and hearing the laws instructed by the judge, we'll see that this is not criminal negligence."
Witt and the state asked for and received a continuance from Superior Court Judge C. Philip Ginn who also said that he could not preside over the hearing of Damon Mallatere because he is a former client and friend.
Mallatere's next court date is set for April 21.