Crime-ridden Cobb motel closes for renovations after agreement with DA

by Ben Brasch, AJC

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From June 2015: Cobb County police detective M. J. Hill combs the surrounding area of the Masters Inn on Windy Hill Road after a man was shot and killed on the breezeway of the hotel. Photo: John Spink/AJC

 

More than sheets are being changed at the Masters Inn on Windy Hill Road.

The Marietta motel reached a one-year legal agreement with the Cobb County district attorney’s office to improve the situation at what police call a “notorious hotbed of criminal activity.” The owner was at risk of losing the property.

The DA’s office first filed a complaint against the property under Georgia’s public nuisance law in September. The DA and the motel agreed to improvements in December.

The motel was known for attracting drugs, which police allege was accompanied by prostitution and violent crime.

One of the notable crimes at the location occurred in 2015 when Demetrius Towns, 32, was found shot and killed on the breezeway of the motel.

“There has been some criminal history, and we don’t deny it,” said David Jaffer, an attorney representing the motel owner, who bought the business in 2011.

He said the motel is popular with people who work construction and restaurant jobs.

Jaffer said Tuesday the motel is currently being renovated, which wasn’t a requirement of the agreement. The improvements will demand a different price and hopefully lead to new clientele, Jaffer said, but that also leaves one less housing option for low-income residents.

“That’s not anybody’s fault, but that’s the fact of what happens when you transition the property,” Jaffer said.

He expects the motel to reopen sometime during the second quarter of the year.

The police department “devotes substantial public resources, attention, patrols, time and undercover operations to The Masters Inn,” according to the DA’s complaint.

The requirements of the agreement demand the motel do many things, including adding armed guards, hanging anti sex-trafficking posters and keeping an accurate list of guests confirmed by photo ID.

There will be compliance hearings to monitor the fixes. The next inspection hearing is scheduled for March 14, according to the agreement.

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