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Ronnie Lee Kimble 


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Gary Paul Lyles, Witness for the State


THE COURT: Next witness, please.

MR. PANOSH: Paul Lyles, please. Gary Paul Lyles.

GARY PAUL LYLES, being first duly sworn, testified as follows during DIRECT EXAMINATION by MR. PANOSH:

Q    Would you state your name, sir.

A    Gary Paul Lyles.

Q     And Mr. Lyles, you're the husband of Rose Lyles that just testified; is that right?

A    I am.

Q    And you live in Long Beach; is that correct?

A    That's correct.

Q    Prior to moving to Long Beach, you lived in the Julian area; is that correct?

A    That's correct.

Q    And you ran Lyles Building Supply?


A    I did. I started it and ran it.

Q    Now, in the course of running that particular business, there came a time when you hired Ted Kimble; is that correct?

A    That's correct.

Q    And what were his duties there at the business?

A    Well, I hired him before he was 16, and he just cleaned up a little bit, picked up trash, and things of that nature. But he stayed with me. In fact, I guess I was the only employer he ever had, real employer, until I left the business. And he gradually worked his way up, until he could do about anything there. You know, as he matured and gained experience, his duties increased and -- along with his salary, of course.

Q    Did there come a time when you met Patricia, through him?

A    Yes.

Q    And did you develop a personal relationship with Patricia that was separate from your relationship with --

A    I did.

Q    And what was that?

A    Loved her. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful girl.

Q    And from time to time, did she turn to you for advice?

A    She did.

Q    And in that vein, did she call you on the day, as your


wife has previously discussed?

A    She did.

Q    And tell the ladies and gentlemen of the jury about that conversation, please.

MR. LLOYD: Object for the record, Your Honor. We're not asking for a voir dire.

THE COURT: Overruled.

A    She had -- when I came in, she was talking to my wife, and my wife sort of motioned, said, "I'm glad you're here." Said, "He's coming in the door." And she handed me the phone, and she said, "Patricia's upset." And, you know, I set down and started talking with her. And she proceeded to tell me that Ted had taken out a large insurance policy on her, and she didn't think they needed it. And I agreed with her. And I proceeded to tell her that Ted needed one, and he had one on him, because he might leave her some day and get out and get killed and leave her with two or three babies to raise, but didn't apply to him, and he didn't need any -- she didn't need any more insurance. She had plenty. And she said, "Well, we discussed it. We talked about it. And I thought we had settled it. I thought it was done. And then I find out that he went and took it out without my knowledge."

And she said, "He wants to buy a motorcycle." Oh, my. You know, I -- I'm very sensible and logical and


conservative, and I just -- I was just dismayed about this. And I said, "Why in the world does he want a motorcycle?" She said, "He wants to ride up and down High Point Road, like he did when he was single." And she said, "I want you to talk with him." And I said, "I need to talk with him."

And she proceeded to tell me about buying the car. She said, "Well, we -- yeah, you could make an argument that we could use a car, but we didn't need all that extra stuff. He spent thousands and -- $5,000 on things we didn't need, added on to that car." And I -- you know, like I say, I was a little dismayed about that, too. And I told her, she said, "I want you to talk with him," and I said, "I'll be glad to talk with him. And I probably need to talk with him." I've treated Ted like a son, and I looked upon him as a son. He'd been with me for years. And I watched him grow up. And I knew him before he went to work for me. I don't know, he was probably 12 or 13 when I first met him. So I felt like sort of a father figure to him. He and I had a -­had a great relationship. I loaned him money. Anytime he ever came to me for anything that I could do, I did it. So I said, "Sure, I'll be glad to talk with him." And she said -- I said, "Well, you know, we're going up to that thing in a couple of weeks, up in Asheville," and she said -- well, it was Black Mountain. She said, "Yeah. Yeah." I said, "I'll talk to him." And she said, "Okay. I want you to


talk with him." And we sort of left it with that.

Q    Did she indicate to you anything about him changing over the weeks before her death?

A    Yes, she did. She told me, she said, "He's not the man I married." And she did tell me he slept with a, I thought she said he slept with a gun under the bed, but it may have been under the pillow, but I remembered under the bed, but I'm not sure of that. That's been a good while, remember. And she did say all he thinks about's money.

Q    Did she make any statement to you about whether or not she signed the insurance policy application?

A    Oh. She did not. She said she did not and would not. And I said, "Don't." She said she thought that was settled, until she found out he had taken the policy out, is the way that she put it to me, without her knowledge.

Q    Now, earlier you testified that you were aware of the fact that Ted Kimble had insurance?

A    Yes.

Q    And would you explain that, please.

A    Well, when he worked for me -- well, remember, Ted was a -- was a teenager growing up, and I didn't think he handled his money well. I was very tickled that he married Patricia, because she was so logical and sensible and -- you know. In fact, the first time he introduced her to me, he said, "I know you're going to like her. She owns her own


home." And I said, "Yeah. She's smart enough to have her own home." But anyway, I took out a key man insurance policy on Ted, and I think it started out at like $100,000. And I paid that. And if you paid it several years, it gradually would sort of pay itself with the dividends. And if you continued to pay it, it could evolve on up into considerably more money. It could practically double over the years. And I paid it up until the time I sold Ted the business, encouraged him to keep it, as protection for his future wife and children, and/or as a retirement, because it would -- it would -- eventually, when he got 60, 65 years old, it would be worth some money.

Q    You'd indicated you did sell him the business. When did that occur?

A    Oh, my.

Q    Approximately.

A    Well, about a year before Patricia died.

Q    Do you remember when it was, in relationship to their marriage?

A    In relationship to their marriage?

Q    Yes.

A    I sold them the business -- sold Ted the business after he and Patricia had their legal ceremony.

Q    The one in Virginia?

A    The one in Virginia. And I probably encouraged that.


In fact, they told me they were going to get married, and I told them maybe they ought to consider going ahead and doing it before the year changed, for tax purposes. Of course, I'm not a tax advisor and I didn't know. I don't think it really helped them. But anyway, I did tell them that. And I knew about it.

Q    Would you have considered selling the business to him, if he was not married?

MR. HATFIELD: Objection. Calls for speculation.

Q    Let me rephrase that.

THE COURT: Sustained as to the way it's phrased.

Q    Was the fact that he was married, was that one of the factors you took into consideration, in determining whether you would sell him the business?

A    Absolutely.

Q    Now, when you sold him the business, you sold him the physical assets; is that correct?

A    Yes.

Q    Did you sell him the land?

A    No, I did not. We -- the land was leased.

Q    And who was the land leased from?

A    A Mr. -- oh, God -- Glascock. But we got it through Robins & Weill, the people that handled it. I never actually talked to Mr. Glascock but a couple of times. Robins & Weill was our contact. That's who we paid our rent


to and --

Q    And you possessed the land on a lease basis?

A    On a lease basis, that's correct.

Q    Was it a long-term lease?

A    Started out a long-term. When I sold the business to Ted, it had a, I'd say two, two and a half years to run, something like that. I don't remember exactly. But I do remember he had some time.

Q    So you would have sold it to him about the first part of '94?

A    Oh, it was in the -- in the spring, I guess, yeah. It's about right.

Q    If they got married December of '93, it would have been the spring of '94; is that correct?

A    Yeah.

Q    And the lease had two and a half years to run?

A    I'm guesstimating that. That's a reasonably close estimate.

MR. PANOSH: Thank you. No further.


Q    Mr. Lyles, you said you loved Ted like a son?

A    I did.

Q    And of course, you told the jury you loved Patricia, too?

A    I did.


Q    And you knew Ted from the time he was 14 or 15 years old?

A    Probably before that. I don't remember. But he went to work for me before he was 16.

Q    And you -- Let's see.

A    On a part-time basis.

Q    I'm sorry. I --

A    When he went to work for me, it was part-time. He was still in school, and he was working some in the evenings and Saturdays.

Q    Were you involved in Monnett Road Baptist Church?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    So you knew his dad and his mom?

A    That's where I met Ted.

Q    When did you first meet Patricia?

A    You know, I've been trying to remember that, and I'm not sure. I'm not sure if I met her at our church and he brought her to church one night, or that she came by the business. I just can't remember for sure.

Q    Did you meet her very significantly before you found out they were interested in getting married?

A    Oh, yes. Oh, yes. When I met her, they were friends, they said.

Q    And you couldn't see any romantic potential there, they just were friends?


A    Couldn't see any romantic potential on Ted's part, but on her part, I could.

Q    It was pretty clear she admired and liked him?

A    Absolutely.

Q    Now, you made a distinction, you didn't condition selling your business upon Ted getting married, you simply wouldn't have considered selling it to him unless he was married?

A    That's correct.

Q    Have I stated that correctly?

A    That's correct.

Q    Is that because you had misgivings about Ted's honesty and reliability, or because you thought he was just a little -- still a little too immature?

A    I would say I had misgivings about his maturity and business handling, before he married.

Q    You knew that he had no money of his own to buy the business from you, because you --

A    I did.

Q    And you knew approximately what your selling price would be?

A    I did.

Q    And that was in the neighborhood of $50,000?

A    Correct.

Q    And as you were already asked, the sale would basically


entail allowing him to make his own deal with the Glascock family or Robins & Weill about the land, and you'd sell him the inventory and the goodwill, whatever else there was there; is that right?

A    That's basically correct. He had awhile for the lease to go, but yes.

Q    Now, when did you first take the key man policy out on Ted?

A    I don't remember. Probably at least two or three years before.

Q    Was this because you -- by that time, you'd become so dependent on his help, that if he -- something happened to him, you really did need -- you were the beneficiary of it, weren't you?

A    The company would have -- was the beneficiary. Well, yes, yes, to some extent, but primarily, it was for Ted's benefit.

Q    What was the payoff amount on that policy?

A    You mean if --

Q    If he died.

A    Immediately like $100,000, I believe is what it started out at.

Q    Did he know about that policy?

A    Oh, sure.

Q    Did he know what the purpose of it was?


A    I didn't tell him when I took it out, but after a year or two, I did.

Q    Well, the -- even on a young and healthy man, $100,000 life insurance policy's not cheap, is it?

A    Six, seven hundred dollars a year. It wasn't much.

Q    This is a whole life policy that built --

A    Uh-huh.

Q    -- rather than just term insurance?

A    Yeah. It was a key man policy, and it did build up, and it would pay dividends.

Q    And he -- the purpose of it then that he was a key man to the company?

A    That was part of the purpose. But really, a good portion of the purpose was that I was trying to look after Ted.

Q    So, even though your company which you owned wholly and completely yourself was the beneficiary, you wanted to teach him habits of practical business planning and thrift and all of that?

A    Absolutely.

Q    Did you feel he was learning those?

A    I did. I did.

Q    Was your arrangement with him that he was paid by check for his earnings?

A    Oh, yeah.


Q    And he had a W-2 and --

A    Oh, sure.

Q    -- and at the end of the year –­

A    Our company was incorporated.

Q    And your company had an accountant?

A    I got a check from the company, too, you know, yes.

Q    Around the time -- around 1992, do you recall Ted being in an auto accident, where a car he owned was demolished?

A    I remember him being in an automobile accident that was demolished. I'm not sure exactly it was '92, but could have been.

Q    Did he miss work as a result of any injuries he sustained in that?

A    I believe he missed some, yes.

Q    Was there a period of time there where he was paid off the books, so to speak?

A    I paid Ted out of my pocket, yes.

Q    Did you have any idea that he would represent to the company that was going to have to pay the claim that he had been out of work?

A    I don't recall that. I don't recall that. He was not out of work -- well, he was out of work maybe a week or so. I can't remember. You -- we're talking six years, and --

Q    Even during the week that he was out of work, did he get paid out-of-pocket?


A    I paid him out of my pocket.

Q    What was your purpose in doing that?

MR. PANOSH: We object. He's answered all this.

THE COURT: Overruled.

Q    What was your purpose in paying him?

A    Because I thought so much of him, and I felt like he needed the money. And I didn't want him to be without money.

Q    So the way your company was set up, you got paid if you worked, so --

A    Yes, but -- yes, yes, at that time, that's probably true.

Q    Did he ask you to give him some sort of letter or any other indicator that he hadn't worked during that period --

A    I don't --

Q    -- for him to turn in to insurance?

A    I don't remember that. I just don't remember it.

Q    Did anyone ever suggest to you or bring to your attention that he tried to exaggerate his claim that time for lost wages or whatever?

A    I don't remember if anybody did. I don't recall.

Q    Did you --

A    No law enforcement or anybody of that nature would have done it.

Q    Did you know his girlfriend, Janet Blakley, at that



A    I knew Janet, yes.

Q    Did she ever indicate to you that she thought he -­

MR. PANOSH: We object, please.

Q    Did Janet point out to you that Ted was trying to collect insurance money -

THE COURT: Overruled.

Q    -- when he was actually working?

A    I don't remember that. Certainly do not.

Q    During that period, did you have any indication that Ted was dishonest?

A    Are you talking about with my business? Absolutely not. I trusted Ted. He had a key to my truck, to my business, to my house.

Q    Well, I think it almost goes without saying that you would not have sold him the business if you had any doubts?

A    That is correct.

Q    After you sold the business, did -- was it your understanding that Patricia was an equal partner in the acquisition of the business, in terms of liability for the unpaid balance and that sort of thing? Was she involved?

A    That was not my understanding, no.

Q    So, half of the purchase price was paid up front, with the assistance of Ted's parents?

A    Correct.


Q    And the other half was secured by you?

A    (The witness nodded his head up and down.)

Q    Did you require Patricia's signature on that obligation?

A    I didn't require it, but then I didn't handle the actual paperwork, so I'm not sure if she signed it or not, to be perfectly honest with you.

Q    Did she take an active part in running the business?

A    She did to start with, because she was doing the books, yes. In fact, I encouraged Ted to have her to do the books, because I felt she was more capable and competent in that area than Ted.

Q    Now, when you got -- when your wife picked up the call from Patricia in September of 1995 and you heard the complaints about the Jeep Cherokee, had you known that they had purchased a Jeep Cherokee?

A    I'm not sure. To be perfectly honest with you, I don't pay any attention to vehicles, and I know that's hard for a lot of people to believe, but I don't.

Q    Had Patricia indicated she had misgivings about that purchase before at any time?

A    I don't recall her, but then, remember, I don't know -- I don't remember when I had spoken to her prior to that, because we were living at the beach, and had been for, I don't know, a year maybe. So my interaction with both of


them was very limited.

Q    When you received your monthly check from Ted, or from the business, did it always come on a regular basis?

A    Yes.

Q    Do you remember who signed the check?

A    I do not.

Q    Did you ever at any time, between your sale of the business to Ted and Patricia, and Patricia's death, did you ever have to call up and ask for your payment to be sent to you?

A    No.

Q    Were you aware that Ted and Patricia had bought a boat, to use on the lakes around this part of the country?

A    I was after the fact.

Q    Did your conservative nature cause you to question that?

A    My conservative nature caused me to question it, and my conservative nature probably caused Ted not to tell me for several weeks after he bought it.

Q    So you would have been --

A    My reaction was, "Why did you buy a boat?" or something to that effect.

Q    Did you know anything about buying a vacation apartment up in Williamsburg, Virginia?

A    No, sir.


Q    I suppose your conservative nature would have a problem with that, too?

A    Absolutely.

Q    Being an old-time resident of the beach, you don't think much of timeshares?

A    No, sir.

Q    Is this pattern of vacation houses and boats and Jeeps and motorcycles, is that just what young people do this day and age?

MR. PANOSH: We object, please.

THE COURT: Sustained.

Q    Is that the behavior of spendthrifts?

MR. PANOSH: Object, please.

THE COURT: Sustained.

Q    Do you think that the probable earnings that Ted was able to have from that business would support those kinds of purchases?

A    You mean, in conjunction with his wife's salary?

Q    Yes, sir.

A    I suppose. I -- they would have come a lot nearer doing it, if he'd have let her handle the money.

Q    Well, if you -- if your purpose in acquiring the key man policy some years ago in the amount of $100,000 was to show Ted the value of investing and planning, wasn't it that he simply learned the lesson, if he was inquiring into the


purchase of insurance later on? Wasn't he just following your advice?

A    Well, when I took out that policy, to my knowledge, he didn't have any more insurance. Okay? So had he had 20 or 30 or 40 or 50 thousand dollars, I probably would not have taken that out. I did it for several reasons: one, to teach him the lesson; two, to protect him. But you could say indirectly, maybe to some extent, but I would not have taken a policy out under the circumstances that he was doing.

Q    Do you feel that there's more value in a policy on a male wage earner in a family's life than there is on a female wage earner in a family's life?

A    Between those two, absolutely.

Q    So it was in Patricia's interest to have some insurance on Ted's life, but not in Ted's interest to have insurance on Patricia's life?

A    No, I wouldn't say that. Patricia had a policy where she worked. She told me she had a policy. Had adequate, plenty of insurance, she said.

Q    So she was covered sufficiently?

A    She said so.

Q And the legitimate -- Ted's legitimate goal would have been for him to be covered sufficiently, and then that ends it?

MR. PANOSH: Object, please.


Q    Is that your opinion, sir?

THE COURT: Sustained to the form.

Q    But you did comment earlier that you didn't want to see her caught with two or three babies and Ted go out there and something happen to him and he's out of the picture and she's left with two or three babies and possibly not being able to operate the business?

A    Correct.

Q    And that would have been the purpose of insurance on his life?

A    Part of the purpose, but --

Q    But --

A    -- I have stated my reasons for the policy, you know, was they covered several things, partly money management, building a retirement, and protection for the future family. He wasn't even married then when I took it out, I don't believe.

Q    So he had no dependents then, yet it was appropriate to put a policy on him?

A    I didn't understand.

Q    He had no dependents at the time?

A    I don't think so, no.

Q    Well, dependents in the sense of taxes, that is, people that you're --

A    He didn't have a wife and children then. But I --


knowing the nature of young people, I assumed he would.

Q    But you did say that this key man policy was such that it would eventually earn enough to virtually pay the premiums and it would build itself?

A    According to the agent, yes.

Q    Now, do you know whether the policy that Ted was planning on taking out on Patricia's life was also a whole life policy?

A    I know nothing of the policy but what she told me.

Q    You never talked to Mr. Jarrell or any of the experts involved in that?

A    I don't know who Mr. Jarrell is.

Q    Do you know whether, after she died, there was a policy on her life?

A    Are you talking about where she worked?

Q    No, I'm talking about the policy she called up and discussed with your wife and you.

A    Oh, no, I don't know.

Q    You don't know?

A    I would have no way of knowing that there was or was not. I only know what she told me.

Q    And you were not there that last Saturday, when Patricia called your house to ask about --

A    Correct.

Q    -- the selling price of an item?


A    That's correct. I probably could have told her, if I'd been there.

Q    And you were going to sort of take Ted to the woodshed when you got up to Black Mountain?

A    Well, yes, I was certainly going to scold him, was my intentions. He wouldn't probably have listened to me, but I would have scolded him, absolutely.

MR. HATFIELD: Thank you very much.

THE COURT: You may step down, Mr. Lyles.

(The witness left the witness stand.)

THE COURT: Members of the jury, the Court would caution you and admonish you that you should not consider the evidence of Rose and Gary Lyles against Ronnie Kimble, unless you find there was a conspiracy and that Ted and Ronnie Kimble were co-conspirators.




Published August 15, 2006.  Report broken links or other problems.

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