The now defendant in the case of three deaths at the Best Western Blue Ridge Plaza issued a statement through his attorney, Paul Culpepper, of Hickory, making a number of points that, if true, raise questions about the case.

is disappointed by the decision to press criminal charges, and makes claims that put blame not only on the firm hired to make changes to the pool heater that is being blamed in the deaths, but says the Town of Boone did inspect work at the Best Western and other hotels under the Appalachian Hospitality Management umbrella.