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Originally published: 2014-01-06 14:42:37
Last modified: 2014-01-06 16:50:06

Update: Grand jury could consider Best Western charges Wednesday

by Anna Oakes

The Watauga County grand jury meeting originally scheduled Monday has been rescheduled to Wednesday, Jan. 8, at 10 a.m. The jury could consider criminal charges in the case of three deaths at Boone's Best Western hotel last year.

In addition, a press briefing on the Best Western case originally scheduled Monday but canceled due to weather has been rescheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 8, at 4:30 p.m. at the Watauga County Courthouse.

The Boone Police Department -- on behalf of the district attorney's office -- had originally scheduled the press briefing on the Best Western case for Monday but canceled the briefing when Monday's Superior Court proceedings were canceled, including the convening of the grand jury.

Because the grand jury is held in secrecy, "what if anything is being submitted to them cannot be confirmed or denied by us," said Britt Springer, chief prosecutor for the 24th Prosecutorial District, on Monday.

In early December the Boone Police Department presented findings from its investigation of the April and June deaths at the hotel, which were linked to carbon monoxide leaks from the hotel's swimming pool water heater and exhaust system.

After the presentation, district attorney's office Chief Prosecutor Britt Springer said the office hoped to announce a decision by mid-January.

On Wednesday, nine new members will be selected for the 18-member grand jury as part of the regular six-month rotation process, said Diane Deal, Watauga County clerk of Superior Court.