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Man Blames Biltmore Hotel for Wife’s Murder

LOS ANGELES (CN) - A singer auditioning for "America's Got Talent" claims his wife was beaten to death inside the Millennium Biltmore Hotel because of the "luxury hotel's" shoddy security. And despite his late wife's multiple wounds, he says, the Biltmore falsely told police "that there was no sign of foul play."

Joseph Finley says his wife, Laura, was murdered inside the Biltmore Hotel on the night of Oct. 22-23, where he and his wife had checked in as paying guests. "America's Got Talent" was holding auditions there that weekend for its 2011 season, Finley says in his Superior Court complaint. Joseph Finley was there to audition as a singer.

"America's Got Talent" is not a party to the complaint. The defendants are Millennium & Copthorne Hotels LLC dba Millennium Biltmore Hotel.

The Biltmore's 683 guest rooms were booked "at or near capacity" the night his wife was killed, Finley says - but its security was inadequate, particularly because the hotel was remodeling its first and second floors, which had become a crash pad for transients.

He claims the Biltmore knew of the trespasses and "other serious crimes against hotel guests and their property, including but not limited to assaults with deadly weapons, thefts, and other disturbance by transients and other uninvited third parties."

Finley claims the dangers were obvious, "as evidenced by the following items scattered on those [two] floors: (1) open alcohol bottles, (2) empty food containers, (3) filthy clothing, (4) cigarette butts, (5) wrappers, (6) bottles full of urine, and (7) dirty blankets. More telling, the door which led to the street was propped open by a piece of brick that was tied to that door by a shoestring."

Sometime during their first night at the Biltmore, Finley says, his wife locked herself out of the room. In the morning, Biltmore security officer found her body at the bottom of a staircase, naked from the waist up, wearing only pants, inside out. Her diamond rings were missing.

Finely says his wife "died due to multiple blunt force injuries that include a one (1") inch laceration on the top of her head and a three and a half (3 ½) inch laceration on the side of her head, as reported by the Los Angeles Coroner's Office Autopsy Report." He says she "also suffered defensive wounds."

Finley says his wife "was murdered by a transient or an uninvited third party who gained access to defendant Biltmore Hotel through the unsecured door on the first floor of the hotel which was near where decedent Laura Finley's body was found."

He says "it was obvious she was a victim of a crime, but defendant Biltmore Hotel's security incorrectly reported to police dispatch that there was no sign of foul play."

Finley and the three children he had with his wife demand damages for wrongful death, and negligence. They are represented by Sean Macias of Pasadena and William Salle of Glendale.

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