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Karen Hall, Witness for the State


MR. PANOSH: Ms. Karen Hall, please.

KAREN HALL, being first duly sworn, testified as follows during DIRECT EXAMINATION by MR. PANOSH:

Q    Would you state your name, please.

A    Karen Hall.


Q    And your occupation, please?

A    Insurance agent.

Q    And what company do you work for?

A    Accordia.

Q    What type of company is Accordia?

A    Insurance brokerage company, independent agency, property and casualty, mainly.

Q    And do you then work through other -- through --

Excuse me. Is it part of your duties to sell insurance from different companies?

A    Yes.

Q    And is the Maryland Group one of those companies?

A    Yes, it is.

Q    In the course of your duties, did you insure the residence on Brandon Station Court --

A    Yes, we did.

Q    -- that belonged to Patricia Kimble?

A    Yes, we did.

Q    And in preparation for your testimony, did you bring with you the records of Accordia?

A    As many as I could find, yes, I did.

Q    And the documents that you're about to refer to, are they kept in the ordinary course of Accordia's business?

A    Yes, it is.

Q    And do you represent Accordia Insurance Company?


A    Yes, I do.

Q    Based upon your recollection and upon those records, when was the homeowners policy issued at 2104 Brandon Station Court?

A    I don't have any records on when it was actually placed into force --

Q    Was it --

A    -- but it was prior to '93.

Q    Was it in effect on October the 9th of 1995?

A    Yes, it was.

Q    And do your records indicate whether or not there had been prior -- prior to October the 9th of '95, whether there had been claims at that residence?

A    Yes, it does.

Q    And when were those claims, if you recall?

A    There was a claim April of '93 for a theft loss and a claim on February of '95 for a theft loss.

Q    And drawing your attention then to the April of 1993 –-

MR. HATFIELD: Objection. That's before they were married.

THE COURT: Overruled.

Q    -- did Accordia pay to the residence -- to the -­Excuse me. Did Accordia pay Patricia Kimble as a result of losses to the residence?

A    The Maryland Casualty Group paid.


Q    And you're the agent for Maryland Casualty?

A    Yes.

Q    And what was the amount of payment?

A    April '93, $6,340.

Q    And in February of 1995, again, did the Maryland Group pay as a result of theft loss at that location?

A    Yes, they did.

Q    And what was the amount?

A    $4,454.

Q    Based upon those losses, on or about October the 1st of 1995, did Maryland Casualty or the Maryland Group take any action in regard to that particular residence?

A    They paid the claim.

Q    Okay. And then in October of '95, did they take any further action?

A    I'm not sure I understand what type of further action.

Q    Did there come a time when they issued a cancellation notice?

A    They issued a cancellation notice, the best of my records, on October the 4th, due to the losses --

Q    And when --

A    -- to the --

Q    -- would that cancellation be effective?

A    It was actually a nonrenewal, to nonrenew the policy, effective October 31st.


Q    But prior to the renewal date, a decision was made on the part of the company not to renew?

A    I'm sorry?

Q    Prior to the renewal date, a decision was made not to renew the policy?

A    Yes, that's correct.

Q    And was the insured informed of that, based upon the records?

A    Yes. They received certified notification from Maryland Casualty. And also, we have letters, as agent, that we mailed to them, as well.

Q    Now, do your records indicate that -- any activity in reference to the policy on or about July the 20th of 1995?

A    On July the 20th of '95, we wrote a letter to Mrs. Kimble, asking that they install protective devices, such as alarm systems and dead bolt locks.

Q    And what, if anything, occurred as a result of your request?

A    We have notes on file that an alarm system, with monitor detectors, were installed, dead bolts were installed, and the front door was replaced with a new reinforced front door.

Q    And how did your agency get that information?

A    I do not know. I got this information off the computer, and it does not state who the information came



Q    Did there come a time on or about June the 15th of 1995 when there was an increase in the policy limits?

A    Yes, it was.

Q    Would you tell the jury about that, please.

A    Actually, it was on June the 15th of '95, asked to increase the dwelling coverage and the other structure coverage, due to, they had added a two-car garage.

Q    Now, does your company have a policy in reference to when policy increases are applied?

A    Normally with most insurance companies, once the work is completed, the increase would take effect.

Q    And based upon the records, was there an indication to you that the garage was in fact completed on that day?

A    As far as the records show, under an assumption, you would assume that the work was completed.

Q    In other words, your company would not have increased the policy amount, unless they had some information that the work was completed?

A    That's correct.

Q    Now, drawing your attention to the 1995 loss, February of 1995, do you have specifics in your records as to what was lost?

A    Yes, I do. The only information I have on that loss is, insured came home and discovered house had been broken


into, several items taken, and some damage to the dwelling.

Q    Do your records indicate what items were taken?

A    No, it does not on our records.

Q    Would that information be with the home office –

A    Yes.

Q    -- Maryland Group?

A    Yes, it would.

Q    Now, drawing your attention to October of 1995 and thereafter, did there come a time when a claim was placed on the residence at 2104 in reference to fire damage?

A    Yes, it was.

Q    And when was that?

A    The loss notice was issued on October the 31st, filed with the company. But we received information prior to that date.

Q    What was the first information you received?

A    The first information our agency received was on October the 10th, from a Detective John Appel.

Q    And did there come a time when a file -- a claim was filed by the insured?

A    Yes. And I need to make a correction to my statement. The actual claim was submitted by the insured on October the 11th of '95.

Q    When a claim is submitted, what does that mean?

A    We take the information given to us by the insured, and


send what we call a claim loss form to the company insuring the actual residence.

Q    Do your records indicate what information was given to your company on October the 11th of '95?

A    Yes. "Insured's wife was shot in the home and killed. The home was then set on fire. Some items are missing in the home, such as jewelry, CDs and tapes."

Q    And do your records indicate who reported that to your company?

A    Mr. Ted Kimble.

Q    You indicated that you then sent him a claim of loss form; is that correct?

A    Someone in our agency did send a proof of loss for him to sign, requested by the Maryland Casualty Group.

Q    Would you explain what a proof of loss is, please.

A    Normally, it's a paper stating that the loss did incur.  And most of the time, it does need to be notarized, a sworn statement.

Q    And does that proof of loss have a monetary breakdown of the items taken and items destroyed?

A    Sometime it does, sometimes it doesn't.

Q    Do your records reflect whether your agency or the Maryland Insurance Group made payments in reference to the proof of loss that was submitted to him?

A    Yes, it does.


Q    And what payments do the records reflect?

A    There is actually a lot of payments that were made.

Q    Would you go through them, if you can, in the order they were made.

A    We have a final payment on the contents of the -­inside the dwelling of $53,417. We have a payment payable to Ronnie L. Kimble, $16,350, to cover additional living expenses for Ted Kimble, while his house was being repaired.

Q    Now, that would have been Ronnie Kimble, Sr., or do you know?

A    It only states Ronnie L. Kimble. I have a copy of a check for the fire damage, contents -- removal of the damaged contents, $2,533. I do not find the records with me, but I do recall a check being issued for in excess of $50,000 for damage to the dwelling itself. Then I have several miscellaneous checks, ranging from 100 to $2,000, for -- I'm not sure what these are for, payable to Langham and Associates, T.M. Mayfield and Company. It could have been an adjusting company, for services rendered. Any other checks I do not have in my files that could have been issued.

Q    Do you have a date on the final settlement of $53,417 that you referred to?

A    We're showing that date -- that check issued on 12/13/96. I do see the copy of the final payment -- final


payment on contents, correction, is $52,606, issued on 12/13. Final payment on dwelling repair is the $53,417, also issued on 12/13/96.

Q    And do your records reflect who the payments were made to?

A    Estate of Patricia Kimble, and Ted Kimble, and Richard Blakley and Sheila Blakley, and J. Rufus Farrior, their attorney.

Q    And in reference to the $16,350 to Ronnie L. Kimble, what date was that, please?

A    That was issued on August the 28th of '96.

MR. LLOYD: Your Honor, I think Mr. Panosh is well aware that this check was made out to Ronnie Kimble, Sr.

MR. PANOSH: We stipulate to that.

MR. LLOYD: If he would stipulate. Thank you.

THE COURT: With that stipulation, members of the jury, you may take this again to be the fact that that check of $16,350 was made out to Ronnie Kimble, Sr., not this defendant, his dad.

Q    Did you have any further contact with Theodore Kimble in settling this particular claim?

A    No, I did not have any contact with him in settling the claim.

Q    After the fire, was there an additional claim or claims made on the property?


A    Yes. There was a claim reported on October the 31st of '95, showing a date of loss of October the 27th of '95. "Unknown party broke glass in Pella window of insured's building."

Q    And that claim was for how much?

A    $400 is what I'm showing --

Q    Did you have --

A    -- as an estimate.

Q    Did you have any further dealings with Theodore Kimble in reference to the settling of that claim or on that property?

A    Not in settling the claim, no, I didn't.

Q    In reference to the initial claim that Theodore Kimble made on October the 11th of 1995, do you recall whether you did that personally?

A    The notes state that I did take the loss on that, and to the best that I can remember, I did take that loss notice.

MR. PANOSH: May I approach, please?


Q    May I see those notes?

A    Uh-huh.

Q    Just the one in reference to the conversation on the 11th.

A    Conversation on the 11th. Here's the actual comments.


(The witness handed documents to Mr. Panosh, and time was allowed for Mr. Panosh.)

Q    Okay. Thank you.

(Mr. Panosh handed documents to the witness.)

(The witness handed a document to Mr. Panosh, and further time was allowed for Mr. Panosh.)

(Mr. Panosh handed a document to the witness.)

MR. PANOSH: No further questions. Thank you.


Q    Ms. Hall, the initial claim that was made on the residence at Brandon Station Court in April of '93 was made by Sheila Blak-- I mean Patricia Blakley, was it not?

A    That I do not know.

Q    All right. Do you know who the insured was in April of 1993?

A    Patricia Blakley.

Q    All right. And the amount of that claim was $6,340; is that correct?

A    That's what our records are showing.

Q    All right. And the claim in February of 1995 for $4,454, that claim was also made by Patricia Kimble, was it not?

A    We have "Reported by insured."

Q    All right.

A    And we have Patricia Blakley as insured.


Q    As insured. All right. Now, Mr. -- you indicated in your testimony on direct that there was a request by the insured for an increase in the policy limit, because of the addition of the two-car garage; is that right?

A    That's correct.

Q    And I believe Mr. Panosh asked you a series of questions regarding whether or not an insurance company would make an increase based on whether work was completed. And you indicated to him that it was normal policy to make the increase when the work was completed. Let me ask you this, Ms. Hall. In situations where the work is substantially completed, somebody puts on an addition to their house, completes everything but the baseboard molding, is it your testimony that the insurance company would not allow an increase in policy limits, if that were the case? A    No, it's not. If it's that far completed, the insurance company would normally, yes, go ahead --

Q    Okay.

A    -- and make the increase on it.

Q    So it's a matter of degree of completion, and if the finish work had not been completed, but the standing structure with the siding and that sort of thing completed, the insurance company would allow a limit --

A    A lot of time, that's up to the individual insurance company and their policies. And it can vary. And yes, it


would depend on the degree of completion.

Q    And of course, if there is a fire and there is some damage to that part, the adjuster will come out and look at the house, and he will note that it's not -- the addition is not entirely finished; is that right?

A    Correct.

Q    And the -- all the insurance company is going to pay for is to put it back in the position it was before the fire or other disaster; is that right?

A    Correct.

Q    Now, when you were notified on July of -- July 20, 1995 that -- Well, let me ask you this, Ms. Hall. The insured indicated to you at some point that an alarm system and a dead bolt and a reinforced front door had been done to the house; is that correct?

A Yeah. I'd like to clarify that. It was not made to me personally, but we do have notes in our computer system that a call was made in and the -- this had been installed.

Q    Do those notes indicate that Patricia Kimble made that call to your company?

A    Our notes do not indicate who made that call.

Q    All right. But she was the insured, of course?

A    At that time, we then had Patricia G. Kimble and Ted Kimble --

Q    All right.


A    -- as the insured.

Q    Now, as far as the policy was concerned, you indicated that there was a final payout of $53,417 on the contents; is that right?

A    $53,417, I made a correction to that. That is on the dwelling repairs.

Q    Oh, excuse me.

A    Yeah.

Q    $52,000 was on the contents; is that right?

A    Correct.

Q    Was that the policy limit on the contents?

A    The policy limit on contents was $52,570.

Q    All right.

A    Correction. It had been increased. $60,270 was the policy -- the contents limit.

Q    So that was actually less than the policy limits; is that right?

A    From what my records are showing, yes.

Q    Ms. Hall, what was the policy limit on replacement of the dwelling? Do you have that in your information? A    $86,100.

Q    86,000. Was that based on a tax appraised value of the dwelling?

A    No. That is based on a replacement cost formula that insurance companies use, based on square footage, number of


rooms, etc.

Q    All right. And Ms. Hall, concerning the break-in in April of '93, do you have a listing in your records as to what Patricia Blakley filed, as exactly what was taken in that break-in?

A    No, sir, I could not locate anything on that claim.

Q    Now, you had written -- I believe you indicated, in early October, October the 4th, you had written Patricia Kimble and Ted Kimble a cancellation notice that would apply on October 31st, or nonrenewal letter?

A    Yes. Our agency sent them a note regarding the nonrenewal notice.

Q    All right. And that was basically because of the two prior claims that had been filed, one in April of '93 and the other in February of '95; is that right?

A    That's correct.

Q    Now, you don't make those decisions, in terms of renewal or nonrenewal, do you?

A    No, sir.

Q    And I believe you indicated that you were acting as an agent for the parent insurance company in this case?

A    That's correct.

Q    All right.

MR. LLOYD: That's all I have, Your Honor.



Q    Ma'am, you were asked a hypothetical in reference to the degree of completion. I believe the hypothetical was, the molding not being in place. If in fact the situation was that the garage doors weren't in place and the siding wasn't completed, would you consider that to be complete enough to insure the structure?

A    I personally, if all the electrical work and things of that nature, other than just finishing up, I personally would go ahead and increase the coverage for an insured.

Q    Would you require the doors to be in place?

A    I would leave that up to the insurance company insuring the house.

MR. PANOSH: No further questions.

THE COURT: Step down, ma'am.


Q    Ms. Hall --

THE COURT: Additional questions, Mr. Lloyd?

Q    -- you would insure a carport, for example, which has no doors, would you not?

A    On a carport, yes, yes, we would.

Q    All right. That's --

A    But we would state it as a carport.

Q    All right.

MR. LLOYD: Your Honor, no further questions. Would ask for the same instruction on --


THE COURT: Again, remember the instruction, members of the jury, that this evidence is only relevant for this defendant in the event that you should find there was in fact a conspiracy with the co-conspirator Ted Kimble.

Step down, ma'am.

(The witness left the witness stand.)

THE COURT: You may stand and stretch, if you'd like.



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