Former Best Western Manager Has First Court Appearance - myfoxcarolinas.com

Former Best Western Manager Has First Court Appearance

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    Barry Mallatere, President of the Best Western Hotel in Boone, turned himself in today at the Watauga County Magistrate’s Office. He is facing charges related to the three deaths which occurred there in 2013.
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Tuesday morning, former Best Western manager Damon Mallatere had his first court appearance after being indicted for involuntary manslaughter in January.

The court appearance was very brief, only lasting about two minutes.

When Mallatere arrived, the judge explained that because of his relationship with the defendant, he did not want to hear anything substantive.

He said the defendant has been a client of his.

So this was just a scheduling appearance.

If you remember, Mallatere was the manager of the Best Western hotel in Boone when multiple people died of carbon monoxide poisoning this past summer. Authorities say the deadly gas leaked into the room from the pool water heater.

Mallatere's attorney spoke with My Fox Carolinas briefly after the appearance, explaining he doesn't agree with the charges brought against his client.

"Not all accidental deaths rise to the level of a criminal act," said Dudley Witt. "We're comfortable with the jury process, we're comfortable with 12 people up here listening to the evidence,hearing the laws instructed by the judge and at the end of the day we think everything will be OK for Damon."

The next court date for Mallatere was set today for April 21 where they are expecting an arraignment.

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