Marriott, Choice Hotels International face wrongful-death lawsuit after Columbia shooting

Tuesday, October 14, 2008 | 12:26 p.m. CDT; updated 5:39 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, October 14, 2008

COLUMBIA - The Marriott hotel and Choice Hotels International chains face a lawsuit from the children of a Columbia hotel manager shot to death days after another employee was raped.

Cynthia White, 55 years old, was working alone on the overnight shift at a Comfort Inn last November when 22-year-old Dwight Hayes entered the hotel and shot her in the head. Nine days earlier, another clerk was raped at the hotel, which was then a Fairfield Inn.

White's three children filed a wrongful-death lawsuit in July. They claim the hotel failed to increase security measures after the first attack.

The hotel's owner said surveillance cameras were installed soon after White's death.

Hayes was convicted in June in White's slaying and the earlier robbery and rape. He is also listed as a defendant in the wrongful-death lawsuit.


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