Mother Says Son Died|Due to Hotel’s Lapses

     HINESVILLE, Ga. (CN) – An aspiring rapper killed while visiting a girlfriend at a Days Inn in southeast Georgia died because of the negligence of the hotel’s the owners and operators, the slain man’s mother claims in court.
     In a complaint in the Liberty County State Court on August 25, Sheila Pitts says her son was in a common area of the Days Inn on Oct. 3, 2014, when he was shot by an unknown assailant or assailants.
     Pitts says her son “did not provoke the assault/shooting any way,” and that the murder never would have occurred had the defendants, Days Inn Worldwide, Inc. and the group franchising the hotel, Shyamasanna LLC, taken responsible steps to ensure the safety of their guests.
     Attorney Chuck Clay, who is representing Pitts, told Courthouse News investigators believe Mahone’s death was the result of an attempted armed robbery that went awry.
     Pitts claims that prior to the shooting, the defendants “had actual and constructive knowledge of violent criminal activity” occurring at the hotel and in its vicinity, including multiple robberies, rape, prostitution, drug use, and a woman being threatened with a knife in her hotel room.
     “Defendants had been advised of security deficiencies on the premises of the subject hotel prior to Markese Mahone’s death” and “failed to remedy the security deficiencies,” the complaint says.
     Exacerbating the situation is the hotel’s proximity to a late-night club, Phatt Katz, whose patrons have routinely been allowed to loiter in the area well into early morning.
     Clay told Courthouse News there have been a number of incidents at and around the hotel that stem directly from activities at the nightclub.
     “There was violence over there with the hotel just next door. The perimeter fencing in between the two always had problems; people would crawl through the gate,” he said.
     Guests, including Mahone, were not warned by the hotel of criminal activity that had happened on and around the premises, the complaint says.
     Pitts also asserts that because of the Days Inn brand, her son believed the hotel would be held to a certain standard.
     “In order to attract members of the public … DIW, through advertising efforts and requirements placed upon SLLC … held SLLC out as its agent and led the public to believe that the subject hotel was owned and operated by DIW and/or agents of DIW,” the complaint says.
     Pitts contends her son, “justifiably relied upon DIW’s representations regarding the subject hotel… and other outward manifestations of typical Days Inn hotels.”
     As a result of that allegedly misplaced trust, she says, her son “sustained serious injuries and died.”
     Pitts seeks unspecified compensatory, special, economic, consequential and punitive damages.
     An individual answering the phone at the Days Inn told Courthouse News the hotel is under new management and they didn’t know how to reach the previous owners.

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