PWC Consulting


Ronnie Lee Kimble 


 Home   v  Search

 Timeline  v  Case File  v  Trial Record  v  Media Coverage





Examination Under Oath, Maryland Commercial Insurance Group



The Maryland Commercial Insurance Group
Claim No. 214F507840


The EXAMINATION UNDER OATH. OF TED M. KIMBLE was taken on the 7th day of March, 1996 at the Law Offices of Harrison, North, Cooke & Landreth, 221 Commerce Place, Greensboro, North Carolina, before Rhonda G. Houchens, Notary Public.


Garrett Reporting Service
Professional Stenomask For The Record

5705 Harrington Grove Drive

Raliegh, North Carolina 27613

(919) 676-1502


Page 2








Page 3


























Q Could you tell us your name, please?
A Theodore M. Kimble.
Q Mr. Kimble, we met briefly off the record. My name is Bruce Berger. I'm an attorney from Raleigh, and I'm here to take what is called your examination under oath. Sitting next to me is Marie Bartello, who is from The Maryland Group up in Maryland. She came down last night and is here with us today, and I know that you all have talked previously on the telephone. The purpose of what I'm doing today is to ask you some questions about the fire loss, for which you've made a claim of insurance for insurance proceeds with The Maryland for the fire back in October of 1995.
What we are going to be doing is I'm going to ask you a series of questions for which I need your verbal answers because the court reporter here (indicating) is going to be taking down both my questions and your answers. I know you are represented today, and I'm sure that Mr. Cooke has


page 5

given you some of this information. We need to cover a few ground rules before we get started so this will all go alot smoother. I need to ask you that if you don't understand any question I ask you or you don't hear it or you want it repeated, or anything like that, you just ask me to repeat it or to clarify it so that you understand what I'm asking before you give your answer, okay?
A Yes, sir.
Q Also, I am going to need from you your verbal responses to each question, rather than head shakes or head nods and that sort of thing, because the court reporter can't take those down, and it's important that she gets down both what I'm saying and what you are saying, all right?
A Yes, sir.
Q The third thing is I will ask you, if you don't mind, to wait until I'm finished with my question to give your answer. And, likewise, I'll try to wait until you are finished with your answer before I ask the next question so that she doesn't have to take down two things that are being said at the same time. At the end of all this when we finish today, the court reporter will transcribe our discussion into a booklet form where we'll be able to read the questions and the answers. You will be sent a copy through your attorney, if


page 6

that's what he would like, and you will be asked to read through that transcript and make any corrections, changes or additions that you want to make and then sign a signature page at the end indicating that the transcript, with any changes or corrections you want to make, is accurate. That tells the company and us that that is your testimony and your position with regard to the questions I ask, all right?
A Yes, sir.
Q Before we get started, do you have any questions for me?
A No, sir.
Q I'm going to assume that you understand what I'm asking you, unless you ask me to clarify it. Is that fair enough?
A Yes, sir.
Q Let me first ask you where you currently live.
A 6318 Liberty Road in Julian, North Carolina.
Q Where is Julian?
A South of Greensboro.
Q In Guilford County?
A Yes, sir.
Q With whom are you living now?
A My parents.
Q What are their names?
A Ronnie and Edna Kimble.


page 7

Q Prior to living with them, I take it that you lived in the home that burned?
A Yes, sir.
Q How long had you lived at that address?
A Nearly two years.
Q Before that, where did you live?
A 6318 Liberty Road.
Q With your parents?
A Yes, sir.
Q Had you lived with your parents for some time prior to moving into the home that burned?
A Yes, sir.
Q Had there been a time when you had an apartment or home outside of living with your parents?
A Yes, sir.
Q When was that?
A At the age of nineteen and twenty.
Q Was that here in this area, also?
A Yes, sir.
Q Did you own that home or was it an apartment?
A It was a mobile home.
Q That you owned or that someone else did?
A I rented it.
Q Did you grow up in this area?
A Yes, sir.


page 8

Q Did you go to school here?
A Yes, sir.
Q How far did you go in school?
A Through the twelfth grade.
Q Did you graduate from the twelfth grade?
A Yes, sir.
Q Which school?
A Southeast Guilford Senior High.
Q Have you had any schooling or formal education beyond high school?
A No, sir.
Q Have you taken any technical school courses or vocational courses, that sort of thing?
A No, sir.
Q When did you graduate from high school?
A In '89.
Q Could you bring me up-to-date following your graduation from high school employment-wise? What have you done?
A I've worked for Lyles Building Material for approximately eleven and a half years.
Q What type of business is that?
A Lumber sales.
Q Both builders and folks walking in off the street?


page 9

A Yes, sir.
Q Where is that located?
A 1700 West Lee Street.
Q Have you been employed, other than at Lyles Building Material, at any time?
A Yes, sir.
Q Could you tell me where, please?
A Precision Group Fabrics.
Q When were you employed there?
A I'm sorry. It's Precision Fabrics Group, PFG,
in that order.
Q And your dates of employment with PFG?
A I went to work for them in roughly the eighth or ninth month of '95. I was employed with them until shortly after the death of my wife.
Q Which was on October 9th, I think?
A On 10/9/95, right.
Q So you were within one or two months?
A Yes, sir.
Q What sort of work did you do with PFG?
A I worked in the lamination department.
Q Were you working at PFG at the same time you were working at Lyles Building Materials?
A Yes.
Q What sort of work did you do and have you done


page 10

at Lyles Building Materials?
A Construction sales.
Q Do you work within the facility and sell to contractors and individuals who come in to purchase lumber and other related materials?
A Yes.
Q Do you also go out on site, at all, or are you solely in the store?
A Solely in the store.
Q Are you involved in the buying of lumber and
that sort of thing from other sources to stock Lyles Building Materials?
A Yes, sir.
Q And I take it you are currently employed *with Lyles Building Materials?
Yes, sir.
Q Are you in the same basic job now that you had previously?
A Yes, sir.
Q I may have read someplace in something I've seen that at some point you purchased Lyles Building Materials?
A Yes, sir.
Q When was that, generally?
A March of 1994.
Q Are you the sole owner of Lyles Building


page 11

Materials now?
A My title is President.
Q Does anyone else own a share of the company?
A No, sir.
Q How many employees do you have currently?
A Two.
Q Does that include yourself?
A No, sir, there are three employees at Lyles Building Material.
Q So there are two other people and you?
A Yes.
Q Who are the other two people?
A Mack Cote and James Ogburn, 0-g-b-u-r-n.
Q Were both Mr. Cote and Mr. Ogburn employed-back at the time of the fire in October?
A No, sir.
Q Were either one of them employed there then?
A Yes, sir.
Q Which one?
A James Ogburn.
Q Did you have any other employees at the time of the fire?
A Yes, sir.
Q Who were those folks?
A His first name is Steve. I don't know his last


page 12

name. I can't recall. I believe your investigator knows. Q At the time of the fire, you, Steve, and James Ogburn were the three employees at Lyles Building Materials?
A Yes, sir.
Q Did you have occasion, Mr. Kimble, at any point between when you purchased Lyles Building Materials in March of 1994 and the time of your house fire to fire or let go any employees?
A Several.
Q Do you remember their names, by any chance?
A No, sir.
Q Do you have some records somewhere that could give you that information if you wanted to find it?
A Yes, sir.
Q Were the employees that were let go during that period of time-- Why were they let go, generally? What types of things caused you to let them go?
A Failure to comply with company policy.
Q On each occasion?
A Yes, sir.
Q How many employees are we talking about who were fired?
A I do not know.
Q Are we talking two, ten, five, or forty? Can you give me some idea?


page 13

A Two to ten would cover it.
Q Was there any time between March of '94 and the date of the fire that you had more than three employees at one time?
A Three consisting of myself?
Q Yes. What is the largest number of employees you had at any one time in that time frame?
A Approximately four.
Q I take it that you are not currently married?
A No, sir.
Q And you were married to Patricia Kimble?
A Yes, sir.
Q When did you all get married?
A 12/21/93.
Q Was she from this area?
Yes, sir.
Q Was she born and raised in Guilford County?
A Yes, sir.
Q Do you know where she went to high school?
A Southeast Guilford Senior High.
Q And is her family still here?
A Yes, sir.
Q Did she have any formal training beyond high school; formal training meaning educational institutions?
A Yes, sir.


page 14

Q Tell me about that.
A I don't know.
Q You don't know what it is that she did?
A I believe her major was accounting.
Q Where did she go to get that?
A Locally.
Q Was it a community college?
A I believe it was a community college.
Q Did you all know each other in high school?
A No, sir.
Q Was she ahead of you or behind you?
A Ahead of me.
Q How many years ahead of you was she?
A I can't recall.
Q Was it one, two, five, or do you have any idea?
A Three or four.
Q Where was she employed at the time of the fire, if she was?
A Cinnamon Ridge Apartments.
Q What did she do for those folks?
A Property manager.
Q Had long had she been in that position?
A I'm not aware.
Q Do you know, again just a ballpark figure, whether it had been months or years? Do you have any idea at


page 15

A A while.
Q You were married in December of 1993. Was she employed there when you all were married?
A Yes.
Q In the same position?
A Yes.
Q Do you know anything about her job history prior to that?
A Yes.
Q Tell me what you know about that.
A She was employed at Cinnamon Ridge Apartments. She worked for Big Star and at Mr. Steak.
Q In Greensboro? -
A Yes, in Greensboro.
Q Did you all have any children?
A No, sir.
Q And by that I meant did you all have any children together, or did either one of you have any children separately?
A No, sir.
Q Had she been married before?
A No, sir.
Q Had you been married before?
A No, sir.


page 16

Q As of the time of the fire, Mr. Kimble, did anyone else live with you and your wife?
A No, sir.
Q You said a moment ago that you are currently living with your parents and had previously. Are either one of your parents employed?
A Yes, sir.
Q Where do they work?
A My mother works at Travelers Insurance Company, if it hasn't been bought out. And my father is a full-time pastor at Monnett Road Baptist Church.
Q And you said your mom works at Travelers Insurance Company?
A I believe that's what it is called.
Q In Greensboro?
A Yes.
Q Do you know what she does for them?
A Processes claims.
Q Do you have brothers and sisters in the area?
A Yes, sir.
Q Can you just briefly tell me their names, please?
A One brother, Ronnie L. Kimble.
Q Does Ronnie live in Greensboro?
A No, sir.


page 17

Q Where does he live?
A Julian.
Q What sort of work does he do?
A Full-time marine corp.
Q Where is he stationed?
A At Camp Lejeune.
Q Was he stationed at Camp Lejeune at the time of the fire?
A Yes, sir.
Q No sisters?
A No, sir.
Q How about your wife? Does she have brothers or sisters in this area?
A Yes, sir.
Q Do you remember their names?
A Reuben Blakely.
Q Where does Mr. Blakely live?
A Guilford County Randolph line.
Q Do you know what sort of work he does?
A Yes, sir.
Q What sort of work does he do?

A U.P.S.
Q Did she have any other brothers and sisters?
A No, sir.
Q One other family history question: Her parents,


page 18

what are their names?
A Richard Blakely and Sheila Brown, I believe is what she goes by now.
Q Do you see them regularly?
A I did.
Q Prior to the fire?
A Yes, sir.
Q Do they both live in Guilford County?
A Yes, sir.
Q Which town or towns?
A I'm sorry. Her father lives in Guilford County. Her mother lives in Randolph County.
Q Do you know if whether either one of them are employed?
A Yes, sir.
Q Tell me, if you know, what employment they have.
A The father, I believe, is an independent electrician contractor. And her mother works for a medical firm making medical-type materials in Asheboro.
Q You told me a moment ago, Mr. Kimble, that you had worked with Lyles Building Materials for about eleven and a half years. And you told me about the other job with PFG or PGF, or whatever the name of that outfit was. Other than those two places of employment, have you been employed anywhere else since you graduated from high school?


page 19

A No, sir.
Q Have you ever been arrested for anything?
A Yes, sir.
Q Would you tell me about that or those, please?
A I was arrested for shoplifting.
Q When was that?
A When I was eighteen or nineteen.
Q Do you know what happened to that charge?
A Yes, sir.
Q What was that? What occurred?
A (Witness does not respond.)
Q Did you go to court?
A Yes, sir.
Q Were you found guilty?
A I don't believe so. The charges were dropped.
Q Was that in Guilford County?
A Yes, sir.
Q Other than that charge of shoplifting, have you ever been arrested for any other reason?
A Not that I can recall.
Q Have you ever been involved in a lawsuit, either as a plaintiff or as a defendant?
A Yes, sir.
Q How many?
A Two.


page 20

Q Are either one of those pending now?
A No, sir.
Q Were both of those brought in Guilford County?
A Yes, sir.
Q Tell me something about each one of those, if you would, please.
A They were auto claims.
Q Resulting from automobile accidents?
A Yes, sir.
Q In those cases, were you the person who was sued, or were you the person who sued?
A Sued.
Q The first one of those, how long ago was that?
A I can't recall.
Q Was it in the 1990's or 1980's?
A I can't recall.
Q What happened to the first suit?
A Specify?
Q Did you settle it; did you go to court, or did you drop it?
A Settled out of court.
Q Did you get some money as a result of that settlement?
A Yes, sir.
Q Do you remember how much?


page 21

A No, sir.
Q I take it that you were injured in that accident?
A Yes, sir.
Q Did that injury require some hospitalization?
A Therapy.
Q Do you remember the name of the other party who you sued?
A No, sir.
Q Would you have been the only plaintiff?
A Yes, sir.
Q Do you remember who represented you in that case?
A Yes, sir.
Q Who was that?
A Steve Bowden.
Q Now, the second suit, I understand, was also an auto claim?
A Yes, sir.
Q What was the result of that lawsuit?
A Out of court.
Q Do you remember who the other party was in that case?
A No, sir.
Q How long ago was that?


page 22

A Within the last two or three years.
Q Again, was that lawsuit brought in Guilford County?
A Yes, sir.
Q You were the only plaintiff?
A I can't recall.
Q I take it, from what you've told me, that there was an automobile accident where you were injured, and that resulted in a lawsuit?
A Correct.
Q Was your wife with you in the car at the time?

A No, sir.
Q Was anyone else with you in the car at the time?
A Yes, sir.
Q Who was that?
A James Day.
Q You don't know whether he brought a lawsuit or not?
A No, sir.
Q Did the result of that lawsuit end up with you being paid some money?
A Yes, sir.
Q Do you remember how much that was?
A No, sir.
Q Who was your attorney in that case?


page 23

A Steve Bowden.
Q The injuries that you received, did they require hospitalization of some nature?
A No, sir.
Q But I take it with regard to both claims, that you were seen by a doctor or doctors for those injuries?
A Yes, sir.
Q The same doctor for both claims?
A Yes, sir.
Q Who was that?
A Dr. David Dye.
Q David?
A Dye.
Q D-y-e?
A Yes, sir.
Q What kind of doctor is Dr. Dye?
A Orthopedic.
Q Are you still seeing Dr. Dye for any reasons?
A No, sir.
Q So whatever injuries you received in those accidents have resolved, I take it?
A Yes, sir.
Q Now, other than the two auto claims resulting in lawsuits that you've told us about, have you been involved either as a plaintiff, somebody bringing a suit, or somebody


page 24

who has been sued, a defendant, in any other lawsuit?
A Not that I'm aware of.
Q How about since you've owned Lyles Building Materials, has Lyles Building Materials been involved as a plaintiff or a defendant in any lawsuit?
A Not since I've owned it.
Q Before you owned it completely, Mr. Kimble, did you have any ownership interest in the company at all?
A No, sir.
Q So you were an employee?
A Yes, sir.
Q Have you ever had reason to declare bankruptcy?
A No, sir.
Q Have you ever filed a Workers' Compensation claim?
A No.
Q How about an unemployment compensation claim?
A No, sir.
Q We've been talking about prior lawsuits. I want to talk for a minute about any other insurance claims that you have made against others, either individually or through your business, that may not have resulted in a lawsuit, okay? Do you see the distinction I'm drawing?
A Are you talking about like lightning damage?
Q Right, anything like that. Before, we were


page 25

talking about instances where there was some dispute that went to court. And now I'd like to talk to you for a minute about instances where either you, personally, or your company have made claims for damage to property or yourself, or whatever, that has resulted in making a claim to an insurance company. Other than this claim that we are here about for your house, have there been any times when you have made insurance claims in the past?
A Yes.
Q On how many occasions did that occur?
A I do not know.
Q Can you give me an estimate of how many are we talking about; again, two, five, ten or twenty?
A I don't know.
Q You have no idea at all?
A No, sir.
Q How about personal claims or claims to your personal property for your automobile or car, not involving your business? Prior to this claim, have you had other instances where you have made claims for that type of damage or injury?
A I can't recall. None recent enough to remember.
Q For example, you said something about lightning damage. You may have been using that as an example.


page 26

A Last year, lightning hit my security system at my company. I filed a claim. It was eighteen hundred dollars damage.
Q Okay.
A My tow motor caught on fire last year. The electrical system shorted out and fried the turning system. That was approximately eight hundred dollars damage.
Q And those are the types of things I'm talking about. With regard to your home, the home that you owned prior to this fire claim, you don't recall any similar types of claims there?
A My wife, or me? Are you referring to my wife's claims or mine?
Q Right now, I'm referring to you.
A I have none that I'm aware of. I don't recall any.
Q How about your wife?
A We were robbed, and she filed a claim last year. In '93, a robbery took place and she was robbed.
Q Tell me how that happened?
A Somebody broke in her house in '93 before we were married. And they have arrested someone.
Q Was she there at the time?
A No, it was during the day while she was at work.
Q Did they take anything, as best you know?


page 27

A A list of things.
Q If I understood your earlier testimony, as a result of that, she made a claim for that theft loss with an insurance company?
A Yes, sir.
Q Was that claim paid?
A Yes, sir.
Q Do you know what types of things were taken?
A Electronic equipment and stuff like that. You can file for a report.
Q What was the insurance company that--
A I'm not aware.
Q You don't know which insurance carrier had the coverage?
A I wasn't married to her at the time.
Q You don't know which insurance company had the coverage at the time?
A I can't recall.
Q Were you involved at all in the claims process?
A I can't remember. I was around. I knew her at the time.
Q So what you know about the claim is that somebody broke into the home that she owned at the time and took some electronic equipment, and maybe some other things, and she made the claim to an insurance company, and it was


page 28

A Yes, sir.
Q I think you also told me you believe that somebody was picked up or arrested?
A I know.
Q Was that person convicted of the crime, or do you know?
A It is to be tried. I have received a letter to my wife from the district attorney in the mail yesterday. They are pursuing prosecution. That is all I know.
Q Are you aware of any other similar types of claims to your house or her house, at any point, other than that theft claim and this fire claim?
A In '95, there was another robbery.
Q Tell me about that one.
A I believe it was in '95. These things take so long. I mean, it takes four or five months just to process the claim.
Q Were you all home on that occasion?
A She called me while I was at work. She said to come home because the house had been robbed. She was standing in the kitchen when she called me.
Q What was taken on that occasion?
A Electronic equipment. That's all I remember.
Q To me, that means your stereo, VCR, television,


page 29

and that sort of thing?
A Yes, sir.
Q Were all those things taken?
A I don't believe the TVs were. You can file for a report.
Q Who was the insurance company on that occasion?
A I can't recall. My wife processed the claim.
Q Was the electronic equipment that was taken on that occasion electronic equipment which had been purchased with the proceeds from the first claim?
A Yes, sir.
Q Was the second claim from '95 ultimately paid?
A Yes, sir.
Q When was that paid?
A I do not know.
Q Was it paid prior to this fire?
A Yes, sir.
Q Did you or your wife go out and purchase with the proceeds equipment to replace that which had been taken? A The insurance company replaced most of the items.
Q Do you know whether they caught the person or persons responsible for the second burglary?
A Detective J.D. Church said they had, to my knowledge.


page 30

Q Other than those two insurance claims at your home and this fire claim, are there any other claims, regarding the home, that you are aware of?
A No, sir.
Q Do you have an insurance agent, Mr. Kimble, through whom you deal for your insurance needs?
A Two or three.
Q You have some for your business and some for your home?
A All of the above.
Q Tell me about the insurance agent or agents for your home that resulted in the policy we are here to talk about today?
A I'm not familiar.
Q So you weren't involved in taking that policy out?
A No, sir.
Q That was your wife?
A Yes, sir.
Q Do you have any idea who she dealt with?
A Kim something. I believe the number is 2301300. But I can't recall her last name.
Q Did you have anything at all to do with taking out the policy of insurance for your home?
A No, sir.


page 31

Q And I take it you have a separate agent that you deal with for your business?
A Yes, sir.
Q Who is that?
A Perdue Insurance.
Q How about your automobiles?
A Gainum's Insurance; it's with State Farm.
Q Do you have any other insurance agents?
A Harvey Apple.
Q What is that for?
A One of my life insurance policies. He's her life insurance man. I say it's her life insurance, but he has got life insurance on me and her and some other insurance. I can't recall his name to save my life.
Q Was it one agent that she had that life insurance through?
A Yes, sir. I also have health insurance from my work with PHP, but I can't remember who is my rep for that.
Q Let's talk about the life insurance for just a minute. Did you have any life insurance policies on her?
A Me?
Q In other words, did you pay the premium for any life insurance policy for your wife?
A Could you repeat that question?
Q Sure. Did you have any life insurance policies


page 32

on the life of Patricia Kimble?
A No, sir, not in effect.
Q What do you mean by that?
A Just what I said. We were in the process of taking out life insurance policies on both of us. It was not in effect yet. It is now in effect on me.
Q Who was that through?
A Southland Life.
Q When had you begun the process that you just mentioned?
A A few months prior to her death.
Q What had you done in conjunction with that process?
A We had just applied for it.
Q What else did you need to do for the insurance to go into effect?
A We had to take a physical.
Q And neither one of you had done that at the time?
A No, sir.
Q Now, you said earlier, though, that she apparently had life insurance policies already in effect on both herself and you--
A Yes, sir.
Q -- through somebody whose name you can't recall?


page 33

A Right.
Q How many policies did she have on herself?
A Two.
Q Do you know what company those were with?
A Life of Georgia. One was with Life of Georgia, and one was with who bought Southland Life. There were two policies for twenty-five a piece.
Q Since her death, have both of those paid?

A No, sir.
Q Have either one of them paid?
A No, sir.
Q Do you know why not?
A Because they haven't caught who killed her.
Q Those are for twenty-five thousand dollars a piece. The policy that you had made application for through Southland Life was for how much?
A Two hundred thousand.
Q Two hundred thousand on her?
A And a hundred and seventy-five on me.
Q At the time of her death, did you know that the Southland Life policy was not in effect?
A Yes, sir.
Q Did you contact the Southland Life folks after her death with regard to the application on her?
A Yes, sir.


page 34

Q What was the nature of that contact?
A To let them know that she had passed away.
Q As I understand your earlier testimony, you have, since that time, gone ahead with the physical and now have the hundred and seventy-five thousand on you?
A Yes, sir.
Q I'm going to switch gears on you again, Mr. Kimble, and talk about some financial matters for just a moment. You got the letter, I'm assuming, setting up this examination under oath and requesting various documents?
A Yes, sir.
Q And I see you have a packet of something in front of you (indicating). Did you bring any documents with you?
A My '94 financial statements. Maryland's Detective Riley stated that it wouldn't be necessary to have '93's, and he already has '95's. I have in front of me the '94 financial statements. I have had to send off for my tax returns.
Q And just so we're clear-- and he is right-- I think either you made an inquiry to him or somebody made an inquiry to him about whether you needed to bring documents with you that you had already produced; is that correct?
A Yes, sir.
Q And he told you that you did not need to?


page 35

A Correct.
Q That's right, and that is why I wanted to clarify what you had. As I understand from your comments, you have previously produced some documents to Mr. Riley or someone else with The Maryland?
A That's correct.
Q As we sit here today, you have requested from the IRS or the state tax people, or whoever, copies of your prior tax returns?
A Yes, sir.
Q What you have with you there (indicating) is your 1993 financial--
A '94.
Q '94, I'm sorry.
A I was made aware that I did not need '93's due,-to the fact that I was not married until December of '93.
Q Who made you aware of that?
A Gary Riley.
Q Okay. What I'd like to do is talk to you about October 9, 1995 for the time frame that we're going to try to establish here-- just so you know where I'm going-- trying to get a financial picture as of that time. I'm looking at two areas: sources of income and liabilities as of that day. I realize, as we sit here today, that you probably can't be a hundred percent accurate. I'm


page 36

not asking necessarily for dollars and cents. I'm looking for what you can tell me about what income you had, what your assets were, and what your liabilities were as of that day. Is that fair enough?
A What was the date?
Q The day of the fire on October 9, 1995.
A Yes, sir.
Q Tell me for you, Ted Kimble, what your sources of income were as of October of 1995.
A Lyles Building Materials and Precision Fabrics.
Q For Lyles Building, I understand by that time that you were the owner. Did you take money out of the business that you in effect were paying yourself a salary?
A Yes, sir.
Q What amount was that on either a weekly or monthly basis?
A Fifteen hundred a month.
Q Was the company making a profit over and above fifteen hundred a month?
A I'm not aware.
Q Did you have an accountant?
Yes, sir.
Q Who is your accountant?
A Joe Gessinger with General Business Services.
Q Did he do the accounting work for your business?


page 37

A Yes, sir.
Q Did he do any accounting work for your personal situation?
A No, sir.
Q Did anyone else do the accounting work for your own personal finances?
A My wife.
Q What was the income you were making from Precision at the time?
A I can't recall.
Q Do you recall from a ballpark standpoint, either on a weekly or monthly basis?
A If I recall correctly, my W-2 was around eleven hundred for what time I was there.
Q Is that total?
A Yes, sir. That's an approximation.
Q I understand. Let me go back for just a minute to Lyles Building Materials. Was the fifteen hundred dollars a month gross?
A Total.
Q Did you have any other sources of income at all-- I'm talking about for you and not your wife at this stage-- other than Lyles Building and Precision Fabrics in October of 1995?
A Not that I ever saw.


page 38

Q Did you have any investments that were producing any income at all? By investments, I mean stocks and so forth.
A I had retirement.
Q All right. I take it that that was adding to the retirement but you weren't producing any take-home pay?
A Of course, no in-hand cash.
Q The retirement was through the business?
A I believe.
Q Tell me what kind of account or retirement you had?
A Aims Fund Aggressive Growth.
Q Is that something you had been paying into since you began working at Lyles Building Materials?
A Somewhere along the way.
Q Did you have any other retirement assets, other than the Aims Fund?
A No, sir.
Q Did you have any savings accounts or stocks or anything that were producing income to you in October 1995?
A Not that I am aware.
Q You said earlier that you had been in two previous automobile accidents resulting in settlements to you. Did you have any of that money, still, as of October of 1995?


page 39

A I don't know. My wife handled the financial affairs.
Q Did she keep records of some type?
A Yes, sir.
Q Were those in the home, I take it?
A Yes, sir.
Q Did those burn up in the fire?
A Burned, trashed, ruined. What was left was ruined by the fire.
Q With water damage and that sort of thing?
A Yes, sir.
Q Did those records, even in a damaged condition, still exist?
A No, sir.
Q What happened to them?
A \They were ruined.
Q Okay, they were ruined. But I want to know what happened to them.
A Trashed.
Q Let me ask you about your wife's income at the time. You told me earlier that she was working at the apartment complex. What was her income on either a monthly or weekly basis for that job?
A I can't really recall. I believe it was approximately nineteen hundred a month. I believe she made


page 40

twenty-eight to thirty thousand a year.
Q And, again, that would be gross?
A Total.
Q Other than her job at the apartment complex, did she have any other sources of income?
A Not that I am aware of or recall.
Q Had you, or your wife, received any money from any other sources by way of gifts, cash, or as a result of selling anything?
A I would occasionally do odd jobs at Cinnamon Ridge. But I never saw the proceeds.
Q Why was that?
A My wife would collect them.
Q Do you have any idea how much that would amount to in any given month?
A I have no idea.
Q When you would do those odd jobs, were you paid by the hour?
A By the job.
Q What do you mean by odd jobs?
A Anything from get the newspaper off a three-story building out of the gutter to putting the shingles back on.
Q For what period of time were you doing that type of thing?


page 41

A Since I've known her.
Q Which goes back how long?
A I've probably done that type of work for her for two or three years. I met her in roughly 1990 at the housewarming party.
Q Did you have odd jobs, of the same type, with anyone else, other than Cinnamon Ridge?
A Not that I recall.
Q Just so I understand what you're telling me about that income-- As we sit here today, you can't tell us how much that was or even estimate how much that was?
A I have no idea.
Q Do you know whether she kept records of that? A Her company might have some kind of record. But I have no idea.
Q Do you know whether that income was reported on your tax returns?
A I have no idea.
Q Just so I have at least some idea, Mr. Kimble, when you talk about odd jobs at the apartments, are you talking about what you would have expected something in the neighborhood of a hundred dollars a month or a thousand dollars a month? Are we talking about alot of money or a little money?
A Probably not of consequence. Some months I


page 42

would do something, and some months nothing would be required.
Q Do you recall, prior to the fire, when was the last time you had done anything in the nature of an odd job at Cinnamon Ridge?
A I can't recall.
Q Other than the odd jobs there, your job at Precision, your job at Lyles Building, and her job at Cinnamon Ridge, did you, together, have any other sources of income at all in October of 1995?
A Not that I recall.
Q Or had you, previously, at any point since you had been married?
A Not that I can recall.
Q I am going to go off the record and take a break so I can go out and feed the parking meter real quick, if you don't mind.
Q Mr. Kimble, before we go back to what we were talking about a few minutes ago, let's clear up a brief discussion you and I had off the record just for clarification. You indicated to me that prior to the time that


page 43

you and your wife made application to Southland, or whatever company it was, for the life insurance policies you told us about, that you previously had a policy for yourself; correct?
A Yes, sir.
Q And I think you said that was for a hundred thousand dollars?
A Yes, sir, it was set up years ago.
Q And it was in place at the time?
A Yes, sir.
Q Through which company?
A Mass Mutual.
Q I appreciate you mentioning that and for the clarification. Now, let's go on talking about the-- as of October of 1995-- the assets that you and your wife had. You owned the house that burned' correct?
A - Yes, sir.
Q And you all were both on the deed?
A No, sir.
Q So the deed was to her?
A Yes, sir.
Q I take it from your earlier testimony that she had purchased that house prior to you all being married?
A Yes, sir.
Q Did you own any cars at the time?


page 44

A Of the fire?
Q Yes.
A Yes, sir.
Q How many?
A I can't recall; maybe three or four.
Q Three or four automobiles?
A (Witness nods affirmatively.)
Q Do you remember what types or makes?
A A '95 Grand Jerokee, a '91 Subaru Legacy, a '76 truck, and a boat.
Q What year boat?
A A '93 Bayline.
Q Any other motor vehicles of any type, such as motorcycles, or anything like that?
Not that I recall.
Q Let's talk about the '95 Grand Jerokee for a minute. Was that in your name or in her name?
A It was in ours.
Q So it was joint. Were you all making payments on that?
A Yes.
Q Do you remember how much per month?
A Four ninety-eight.
Q And the '91 Subaru, was that paid for?
A Within the last year.


page 45

Q Was it paid for as of the time of the fire?
A Yes.
Q I take it the '76 truck was free and clear?
A Yes, it's the company's.
Q Were you making any payments on the boat?
A Yes, sir.
Q What were those payments?
A Approximately two fifty-eight.
Q Was that also in both of your names?
A Joint.
Q What were your house payments a month? Around five eighty.
Q Who was the mortgage with?
A Colonial Mortgage.
Q Did the five eighty include taxes and insurance? Was that the total amount of your monthly payments?
A Yes, sir.
Q Did you have any other outstanding loans, either for things, such as a boat or motorcycle, or just loans that you were making monthly payments on?
A Would you repeat the question?
Q Sure. Other than the monthly payment you made for your house and the monthly payment for the Jeep and the monthly payment for the boat, all of which you were paying on notes that had been previously executed, did you have any


page 46

other monthly payments or notes for money that had been borrowed?
A A line one equity.
Q Through whom?
A Nations Bank.
Q Was that a home equity loan on your home?
A Yes.
Q What was the amount of the monthly payment? realize that it probably changed from month to month a little.
A I don't know. All the answers I've given thus far are based on what I have learned since the death of my wife.
Q Okay. Is it fair to say, from that comment, that she was the one who wrote the checks for these monthly obligations?
A Yes, sir.
Q Do you know the outstanding amount of the home equity line, as of the date of the fire?
A Approximately seventeen five.
Q Would that be seventeen thousand five hundred?
A That would be a close guess.
Q What had that money been used for?
A We purchased a time share.
Q Where was that?


page 47

A At Powatan Plantation in Williamsburg, Virginia.
Q Was the seventeen five used to purchase it completely, or was that a down payment and you owed a monthly obligation on that as well?
A The purchase price was approximately fourteen to fifteen.
Q So I take it from that, you did not owe the time share folks anything on a monthly basis, other than indirectly through paying back your home equity line?
A Correct.
Q Other than those obligations, did you have any other regular monthly payments by the way of notes and debts, and that sort of thing?
A Not that I recall.
Q Did you all have a joint checking account?
A Yes, sir.
Q Did you have more than one or just one?
A I don't know.
Q Did you have one?
A Not that I recall.
Q Did you have a checking account that you could get money from?
A We used joint accounts.
Q As best you recall, did you have one or more than one?


page 48

A We had to open a checking account at Nations Bank in order to get the line one equity. I believe there was never no more than a hundred dollars in it, and it was never used.
Q Where was the other joint checking account that you did use?
A Wachovia.
Q Did you have a savings account with any financial institution?
A Wachovia.
Q Was there a certain branch that you dealt with primarily?
A My wife dealt with the branch at Four Seasons Mall, I believe.
Q Other than the Nations Bank account and the checking account and savings account at Wachovia, did you have any other accounts at any other financial institutions at all?
A Not that I'm aware of.
Q Did either one of you have any certificates of deposit?
A What is that?
Q It's money that you put in a bank that is not really in the savings account that pays a certain amount of interest after a period of time.


page 49

A No, sir.
Q Any money in any money markets any place?
A Our retirement.
Q Other than retirement, which you told me about earlier, any other investments at all?
A None that I recall.
Q Any kind of collections of coins or stamps or any of those types of things that you kept outside your home?
A No, sir.
Q How about jewelry? Other than the jewelry you have listed on the inventory, did you or your wife have any jewelry?
A Where?
Q Anywhere.
A What I'm wearing.
Q Other than that.
A None that I'm aware of.
Q At the time of the fire, did you have any cash sitting around the house to speak of?
A Not of any consequence.
Q Can you think of any other investments-- and I'm using that broadly-- other than your house, your automobiles, your personal belongings, the IRA or the retirement fund that you told us about, and whatever money you had in your savings and checking accounts? Were there any other sources of


page 50

investment that you and your wife had, as of the time of the fire?
A We own'A lot in Asheboro.--
Q Was that a jointly-held lot?
A Yes.
Q When did you purchase that?
A Approximately in '94.
Q Did you owe any money on that?
A We paid cash.
Q How much was the lot?
A Sixty-eight hundred.
Q So it was an unimproved lot? In other words, it had no house or anything on there?
A It's undeveloped.
Q Do you still own it?
A Yes, sir.
Q That lot doesn't produce any income for you at this time?
A No, sir.
Q Any other assets or things or investments that you had as of the time of the fire?
A No, sir, not that I recall.
Q The time share in Williamsburg, when did you buy that?
A In '95.


page 51

Q How did you go about purchasing your business? Where did you get the money to buy that?
A I borrowed some money from my parents. I saved some money, and there was owner financing involved.
Q At the time of the fire, were you paying your parents back on any regular interval for that amount of money they had loaned you?
A My company, yes.
Q What is your obligation to your parents? How much do you owe them for what they loaned you?
A My accountant would know. My payments to the line one equity are approximately two hundred and seventy-seven dollars; variation depending on the interest rate.
Q The line one equity, is that separate from the one you told us about earlier for the time share?
A Yes.
Q So you have a separate line one equity?
A No, sir. I said my parents loaned me a percentage of money off of their own line one equity to
purchase Lyles Building Materials. I put so much down with what they had and half paid for Lyles Building Materials. The rest was financed from the owner.
Q So the amount borrowed from your parents through the line one equity was--
A In the beginning, it was eighteen thousand.


page 52



page 53

Q (Counsel reviews documents.) That is for--
A At the cost of five dollars a month for twelve months. I was told to keep all receipts.
Q So the receipt that you just gave me is the receipt that it cost you to get the information you just handed me from Wachovia?
A Yes, which you requested.
Q And that information would be a history of your checking and savings statements?
A Yes, sir.
Q I appreciate your getting that. We will mark that and attach it to the examination under oath. Well, let's do that now. I'm going to mark jointly, Mr. Kimble, with this exhibit sticker these documents which you just handed me. Rather than doing each page, I'm just going to do it jointly, if that's okay with you. At the end of this examination, what we will do is we will have an exhibit pamphlet. I'm going to give you some other stuff to look at, too, in a moment, that will be separate from the examination. I want to be able to refer to these so it makes some sense as we go along. I'm going to call this (indicating) Exhibit No. 1. The court reporter will attach that separately, with these other documents, in a separate binder.


page 54

Q Now, I misunderstood what you had told me earlier. I thought you said you brought with you a financial statement. So let me ask you this question: Have you ever prepared a personal financial statement for any bank or other institution?
A No, sir, not to my knowledge.
Q Do you recall when you took out the line of credit or the home equity line with Nations Bank whether or not you filled out a financial statement at that point?
A My wife took care of whatever requirements there were.
Q Tell me, on a monthly basis-- we've talked about your fixed obligations, such as your rent, your automobile loans, the home equity line, and those types of things--Other than that, can you tell me, as we sit here today, as of October of '95, what other monthly obligations you had? I'm talking about things like outstanding credit card balances, utilities, and those types of things.
A I'm not aware. Our credit card amounts were minimum. We hardly owed a dime. I don't believe we owed over a thousand dollars on all our credit cards.
Q What types of credit cards did you have at the time?
A How many kinds are there?


page 55

Q Did you have credit cards at the local
department stores?
A I don't know. It has been so long since I used them. I don't use credit cards. The only thing I ever used was a VISA or Mastercard, at the time of this fire last year. Since then, I have been forced to live off of them due to the fact that I am under financial strain.
Q So at the time of the fire, you had a VISA card and a Mastercard?
A I have perfect credit. Anybody will give me credit.
MR. COOKE: Just answer the question.
THE WITNESS: I don't know. I used to have a Belk's and a Penny's card, but I think they have run out or expired. I don't even know where they are. I may have torn them up and thrown them away.
Q As of the time of the fire, do you believe that you had a Belk's card?
A If the account was still valid. I used to have one, and I used to have a Penny's card and about every credit card I can think of. But I never used them.
Q All right. Do you think you had a VISA card?
A I know I had a VISA.
Q What about a Mastercard?


page 56

A Yes, sir.
Q American Express?
A No, sir, never.
Q Discover, or whatever it's called?
A Not that I'm aware of.
Q Sears?
A I used to.
Q Do you have any idea what the utilities, water, gas, electric, and those types of things ran at your house in an average month?
A Forty dollars. We had an energy-efficient house. We'd have a forty to sixty dollars power bill. We had gas heat, so whatever it cost to fill the tank.
Q How about the phone bill?
A I don't know. I never saw it.
Q That was something your wife took care of?
A Exactly.
Q Let's go back and talk about what you know about the purchase of the house for just a minute. I understand that your wife bought it before you were married?
A Yes, sir.
Q Do you know anything about the financial aspects of the purchase? In other words, ho– much she put down, and those types of things.
A I just know who she purchased it through and


page 57

what she had to go through to get it.
Q You know that the deed is in her name, apparently?
A As of now.
Q And there was a first deed of trust with Colonial Mortgage, or whatever the name of the company.
A I have no idea. All I know is that I believe in the beginning she had an FHA loan. She refinanced in '93, approximately in June, at which time she took her father's name off. She made the comment to me that he never helped her. She just had to have his name on it to have the credit.
Q Had you all made any improvements to the house?
A I was in the process of building a two-car garage. The limits were raised on the house back in the summer.
Q By limits, do you mean the insurance limits?_
A Yes, sir.
Q How far along were you in the building process?
A Two-thirds completed.
Q Were you doing the work yourself?
A Yes, sir.
Q How are you purchasing the materials?
A As I could pay for them.
Q Other than the two-car garage, any other improvements similar to that that you had done on the house?


page 58

A Since I've been married?
Q Yes.
A Prior to getting married, I put a storage building and shed behind the house, and a volleyball court, gazebo, and sprinklers.
Q This was all before you were married?
A Yes, sir.
Q Any outstanding loans, to pay for any of that, at the time of the fire?
A No, sir.
Q Had you ever listed the home for sale?

A No, sir.
Q Had you ever thought about selling it?
A No, sir, nothing serious.
Q So you had not talked to any realtors or that sort of thing?
A No, sir.
Q Can you think of, Mr. Kimble, any debts that we may not have talked about, as of the time of the fire?
A I believe they were all covered.
Q In other words, you believe you were current and didn't have any debts, other than the loans and so forth that we have discussed?
A Correct.
Q Let me talk to you now about the fire and what


page 59

you know about that. What time did the fire occur?
A Either Detective Church or Dewberry, I believe Church, stated it was at approximately 6:15.
Q Is that p.m.?
A Yes, sir.
Q On October 9th--
A '95.
Q Right. Let's start out with the morning of that day. Did you get up at the usual time?
A Yes, sir.
Q Were you at your house?
A Yes, sir.
Q Was your wife there with you?
A Yes, sir.
Q Was there anybody else in the house that day in the morning?
A Yes, sir.
Q Who was that?
A My kid brother.
Q Your kid brother?
A My mother and my brother.
Q Why were they there?
A My mother came by before I awoke to drop the dog off. My kid brother came by to borrow my truck.
Q While you were still there that morning?


page 60

A Yes, sir.
Q Did both of them leave before you went to work, or wherever it is you went that day?
A Before or at the time.
Q Did you or your wife leave first?
A I did. She was still in the bed. She never got up until after I was gone.
Q Do you remember about what time you left the house?
A The usual time; about 7:30.
Q What time does she normally leave?
A I don't know.
Q So you don't know what time she needed to be at work?
A When she felt like going between 9:00 and 10:00.
Q Did you go to work that day?
A Every day.
Q What day of the week was this?
A Monday.
Q You had two jobs at the time. Which job did you go to?
A Lyles Building Materials at eight o'clock.
Q Did you stay at Lyles Building Materials throughout the day?
A Yes, all day.


page 61

Q What time did you leave Lyles?
A At 5:30 or 5:35.
Q How far is Lyles from your home?
A Approximately twelve miles.
Q During the day while you were at Lyles, did you have any communication with your wife?
A Several times.
Q Tell me about those, if you would.
A I believe I spoke to her that morning on the phone. I saw her at lunch. And I talked to her that afternoon.
Q Was that a normal routine to talk to her two or three times during the day?
A Every day.
Q When you say you saw her for lunch, where did you see her for lunch?
A At work.
Q Did she come there?
A Yes, she brought me lunch.
Q Was it your understanding that she had left home that morning and gone to work?
A Yes, sir.
Q And then she came to meet you at your work from her work?
A Yes, sir.


page 62

Q When you talked to her later that afternoon, where was she at that time?
A At work.
Q Do you know what time that was?
A 3:22.
Q How do you know that so specifically?
A Because I looked at my watch.
Q And she was at work then; correct?
A Yes, sir.
Q What is your understanding of where she went when she finished work that day?
A She was supposed to go home and cut the grass.
Q Was that a discussion you had with her previously, or was that her normal routine on Monday?
A We were to be out of town that weekend. 'It would be the only afternoon open for her to cut the grass. She was getting off work early to cut the grass.
Q What time does she normally get off work?
A About five.
Q Why was it she could get off that day and not other days?
A She had obligations in the evenings that week. We were going on a marriage retreat that weekend. The grass was getting high.
Q When you talked to her at 3:22 or when you saw


page 63

her at lunch, did she tell you anything unusual at all?
A Not that I recall.
Q You didn't hear from her again after 3:22?
A No, sir.
Q You said you left Lyles at 5:30?
A Yes, sir.
Q Where did you go?
A I went to Ms. Winters on Highpoint Road and ordered a chicken biscuit and water at approximately 5:40.
Q Where did you go next?
A I met my mother in the parking lot at Biscuitville at quarter till.
Q Quarter of six?
A Yes, sir. And I handed her the dog, Sassy. I was puppy sitting that day. My father was out of town and wasn't at home to watch the dog.
Q So the dog had been with you at work?
A Yes, sir.
Q So you gave your mother back the dog at about quarter of six?
A Yes, sir.
Q Where did you go next?
A I stopped by Econo at approximately five minutes till six on South Elm and Eugene and purchased a Gatorade and a pack of chewing gum. At six o'clock I arrived at Precision


page 64

Fabrics and proceeded to beat on the door to get somebody to let me in. At 6:05, I was on the floor on the job.
Q Tell me, Mr. Kimble, since I'm not familiar with this area, Precision Fabrics, in relation to Lyles Building Materials, is where?
A About midpoint between home and work.
Q All right.
A It's at the end of Meadowview.
Q So then at 6:05 you were on the job. How long did you stay at Precision Fabrics?
A Until shortly before nine o'clock when I was made aware that my house was on fire.
Q How did you become aware of that?
A Someone called and paged me.
Q Who was that?
A My brother-in-law's wife's mother. Did you follow all that?
Q Not very well.
A Her brother's wife's mother. I can't recall her name.
Q Did she just call you on the phone at work?
A No, she paged me. I called her, and she said to get home because my house was on fire.
Q Did you leave Precision to go home?
A Immediately.


page 65

Q Tell me what you observed when you got there.
A Fire trucks everywhere.
Q Was the house still burning?
A Smoldering.
Q What was the status of it?
A Pretty much out.
Q Were you able to go in the house?
A No, sir.
Q Was anybody with you at the scene, other than the fire people?
A Family members were arriving; Reuben, and my brother and his wife. It happened so fast. I can't recall everyone. I believe the father may have been there already.
Q How long did you stay at the scene?
A I don't know.
Q You can't recall?
A Huh-uh (no).
Q When did you find out that your wife had been in
the home?
A Shortly after arriving. I overheard a fireman saying that there was a body in the house and that the car was sitting in the driveway and my wife was being unaccounted for. So I naturally assumed that it was my wife.
Q Did you go into the house?
A Never.


Page 66

Q Did you try and they wouldn't let you? Or you didn't try?
A I can't recall.
Q Did you talk to any of the fire people at the scene?
A About?
Q About the fire and what had happened.
A I believe I talked to Alan Fields. He is a fireman.
Q Can you tell me what Mr. Fields told you?
A He told me that they did all they could do, and he was sorry.
Q Where did you go that night?
A To South Elm Street Baptist Church.
Q Did you stay there that night?
A I went there for an interrogation.
Q By whom?
A The Guilford County Sheriff's Department.
Q You gave me the name of some folks earlier of who you had talked to, I think, within the--
A J.D. Church.
Q Did they ask you a bunch of questions?

A Yes, sir.
Q Did they take your statement?
A They took some notes.


Page 67

Q Have you ever seen any kind of statement?
A No, sir.
Q After that, did you give any other statements to the sheriff's department or the fire department, or anybody else, other than the insurance company?
A No, sir, not that I recall.
Q Have those two detectives or sheriffs not talked to you subsequently about the fire?
A They have talked to me a repeated number of times to the point of harassment.
Q In person or on the phone?
A In person and on the phone.
Q When was the last time you had any contact with anybody from the sheriff's department?
A Define contact?
Q Either they talked to you or you talked with them or you met with them.
A I can't recall.
Q Would it be within the last month?
A Two months.
Q What is your understanding, Mr. Kimble, of what the nature of their investigation is?
A Specify?
Q Is it ongoing? Have they closed it?
A It's ongoing.


Page 68

Q Did they tell you that you were a suspect?
A I can't recall.
Q Did they ever ask you to give a polygraph?

A No, sir.
Q Other than the investigation that the sheriff's department has done and the investigation that the insurance company has done, are you aware of anybody else who has been investigating the fire?
A The fire or the death?
Q Either.
A Yes, sir.
Q Who is that?
A My detective. And most recently, a detective working for Sheila Blakely or Brown.
Q So you hired a detective to look into the circumstances surrounding the fire?
A Yes, sir.
Q When did you do that?
A I can't recall. It was some months ago.
Q Who was that detective you hired?
A (Witness does not respond.)
MR. COOKE: Actually, I think we hired him.
MR. BERGER: Oh, okay.
MR. COOKE: I think my partner and I hired him.


page 69

Q I don't want to get into any attorney/client stuff, but, is it fair to say-- and I'm kind of reading into your comments-- that so far he has not provided any substantive information on who may have been involved in starting the fire or the death?
A Correct.
Q Would that be fair?
A Yes, sir.
Q Now, the other detective that somebody else hired, do you know when that person was hired?
Repeat the question?
Q You mentioned that someone else had hired a detective, also.
A Within the last couple of days.
Q Do you know who that person is, the detective that was hired?
A I can't recall his name. It may be McCally, possibly.
Q Mr. Kimble, do you know anything at all about - how the fire started?
A None other than what I've been told.
Q By whom?
A The police department.
Q What did they tell you?


page 70

A That a flammable was used.
Q As we sit here today, do you have any knowledge at all as to who may have started the fire or been involved with the starting of the fire?
A No, sir.
Q Do you have any suspicions, hunches, or anything along those lines?
A No, sir.
Q I know it may be a little bit difficult to talk about, but I'm going to talk about the death, also, for just a minute. Do you have any knowledge about who was involved with that?
A No, sir.
Q As best you know, did your wife have any enemies or anybody mad at her, or those types of things?
A From time to time, several.
Q Tell me about those, if you would.
A She was a property manager at Cinnamon Ridge Apartments. She had numerous verbal threats.
Q During the time you all were married, for example?
A During and before.
Q Do you know the identity of any of the folks that threatened her?
A Some.


page 71

Q Have you given the names of those people to the police?
A To the best of my ability.
Q The nature of those threats were what?
A Bodily harm.
Q For what purpose? Was it for kicking people out of their apartments?
A Yes, sir.
Q Do you know, prior to the fire, when the most recent threat to her was?
A Possibly.
Q Tell me, as best you know.
A I believe it was a woman by the name of Sandra-- the last name I can't recall-- verbally threatened her, from what I understand or have heard.
Q About how long was that prior to the fire?
A I'm not aware.
Q Was it within days or weeks?
A Within months. I can't count the number of times she came home upset from being cussed out or threatened by somebody.
Q Had anyone, to your knowledge, taken any action


page 72

A Not that I recall.
Q Let me turn it around and ask you whether you had anybody that was upset with you, that you are aware of, as of the time of the fire?
A Possibly an ex-employee.
Q Are you thinking about somebody specifically?

A Yes, sir.
Q Who was that, and what was the nature of that problem?
A He went by the name of Dink. If I recall correctly, I gave the name to the police and possibly Gary Riley, but I can't recall. He quit. It was my belief that he was on drugs. He quit violently.
Q Meaning what?
A Meaning that he assaulted my father. He threat a jar at him. No legal action was ever taken. He walked off the job.
Q About how long ago?
A Shortly before the death of my wife.
Q Within days or weeks?
A A month. I can't recall exactly.
Q How long had Dink worked with you?
A Not long.
Q Other than that incident, had you ever had a problem with him before?


page 73

A Attitude problems. He snapped at my wife.
Q Had Dink ever made any threats against you or to you?
A About my wife.
Q What did he say?
A My mother said that he made a comment that he could not stand her and possibly to a further extent. You would have to pursue that with her. It is based on hearsay.
Q Other than Dink, you had told me earlier that there were some other folks, none who you could specify, that had been fired by you during the time that you owned the business?
A Yes, sir, fired or quit.
Q With regard to any of those folks, was there anybody else who threatened you in any way or quit under circumstances where you believe they would have been hostile to you?
A No, sir.
Q Other than the people you've told us about, Dink and those people who may have threatened your wife at work, is there anybody else who you think may have had some reason or motive to get back at you or your wife?
A No, sir.
Q Did you ever have any problems with any


page 74

A Don't know any of them.
Q Did you and your wife have any marital problems?
A No, sir.
Q Did you all have any burglar alarms or smoke detectors at your house?
A Yes, sir.
Q Were they all working?
A No, sir.
Q Why not?
A I bought or purchased a keyless security system when HQ went out of business, and it was defective. There were too many problems with it. It wouldn't arm at times and couldn't get it to disarm at other times. So my wife got tired of it and put it in the closet.
Q How long ago had you bought that?
A I can't recall.
Q I understand from something I've seen, Mr. Kimble, that you at one point offered a reward?
A Yes, sir.
Q Did you ever get any information from anyone in response to that offer?
A No, sir, not that I've been made aware.
Q Other than the threats you've already told us about, had anyone ever come to your home and threatened you or done any type of property damage to your home, such as


page 75

breaking a window, or that type of thing?
A Not that I recall.
Q I don't mean to insult either you or your wife by this next question. Were either one of you involved in any kind of illegal activities, such as drugs or that sort of thing?
A No, sir.
Q I'm going to switch gears on you now-- I'm sure you're happy to hear this-- and go into the final phase of this. What I'd like to talk to you now about is the loss itself to the home, okay?
We'll talk about it in two phases. Phase one, the building itself, and as I understand it, the company has hired somebody to come in and clean up and do work and restoration and that sort of thing; correct?
A Yes, sir.
Q Other than what they have done concerning that, do you know anything about the figures and what has been damaged and how much, etcetera?
A Do you mean the appraisal?
Q Right.
A The appraisal that the insurance company provided is all I have.
Q Do you have any quarrel with or dispute with that appraisal, as best you know?


page 76

A It is satisfactory--
Q Okay.
A -- other than replacement of a window in the house.
Q Tell me about that. What do you mean by that?
A There is only one window they didn't figure replacing in the house. The builder told me it could not be cleaned. The estimate of a four hundred dollar window for replacement was figured at forty dollars for cleaning it.
The plastic molding on the window actually shrank and started to melt in the fire. The builder figured cleaning it instead of replacing it.
Q So the thing you're concerned about is that you think the window needs to be replaced rather than cleaned?

A Exactly.
Q Which window is that?
A The garden window in the kitchen. It is the only one they didn't figure replacing.
Q If you don't mind, let's go off the record for a minute.
A Yeah, let's take a break.
Q We're back on the record, Mr. Kimble. Since


page 77

your home burned in October, have you been living with your parents?
A Yes, sir.
Q Have you lived anyplace else, other than with them?
A No, sir.
Q I understand that part of your claim here is for alternative living expenses during that period of time?
A Yes, sir.
Q Have you kept records for all expenses that you incurred?
Q Like for example, today you gave me this receipt for these documents you obtained from the banks. Have you kept receipts for anything that you have had to purchase or any expenses you've incurred since your home burned?
A Some.
Q For those that you've kept receipts and records for--
A I have submitted.
Q Are there any that you have that you haven't submitted to the company?
A None that I wasn't willing to pay for myself.
Q Is it fair to say that with regard to the other living expenses that you've had since you've been out of your


page 78

home and those that you want reimbursement for you have submitted to the company?
A Exactly.
Q Now, at one point, did you tell the company that you were going to rent someplace, rather than live with your parents?
A Repeat the question?
Q At some point-- and I don't know when it was--between October and today, did you tell the company that you were going to rent an apartment or a house or someplace to live?
A Yes, sir.
Q Tell me how that came about.
A I wanted independence from my parents. I wanted my own place.
Q How did you go about finding your own place?
A I asked a realtor in my church about renting a furnished house and if it would be legal for me to rent my parents' house.
Q Did you have a specific house in mind that-you were going to rent, other than your parents' house?

A I can't recall.
Q At some point did you tell the company that you wanted to rent a house at 6319 Liberty Road for twelve hundred dollars a month?


page 79

A 6318 Liberty Road.
Q Was that a house that you had found or that the realtor had found?
A It was my parents' house.
Q Did you provide the company a lease or proposed lease for that property?
A No, sir.
Q Did you ask the realtor to do that?
A I can't recall.
Q Tell me, again, the name of the realtor.
A Jennifer Hall is the realtor in whom I spoke to.
Q Other than speaking to her, have you had any other dealings with her about alternative living
A Repeat that again.
Q Other than just talking to her and asking her some questions, which you told me earlier what those were, have you had any other dealings with her about alternative living arrangements between the time of the fire and today?
A Not prior to the fire.
Q No, between the time of the fire and today.
A I have spoke to her about renting my parents' house.
Q Are you talking about one occasion or multiple


page 80

A I spoke to her a couple of times at church, but never a formal visit.
Q Did she undertake to do anything for you other than just talking to you about the possibility of renting your parents' house?
A Yes, sir, she said that it was legal and she had done it for other clients. She would rent their children their parents' house.
Q What follow-up, if any, did you do with her concerning that?
A I asked her-- I'm trying to recall. It has been some months ago.
Q Just tell me as best you can recall.
A To the best of my ability, she stated her rate, personally, if she handled it, or she could handle it through her company. She was responsible or able to handle the transaction of a rental agreement where Maryland would rent my parents' house through her for me, and she would in return pay my parents for me to live at their residence while they lived somewhere else. -
Q Was that something that you discussed with your parents?
A Yes, sir.
Q They were willing to do that?
A Yes, sir.


page 81

Q Where were they going to go?
A To Ronnie my brother's place of residence.
Q Was somebody living there, or was it vacant?
A It was vacant five to six days a week, for the most part, if not entirely because he is in the Marine Corps. His wife doesn't like to live alone, so she stays at her parents'. My younger brother would stay with her at her parents when he did come in on the weekends, at the length of time in which I would be renting their residence.
Q Whatever happened with all that?
A Jennifer Hall comes to me and says that she is leery of the idea. I told her that she said it was legal. She said that it doesn't sound good. She proceeds to state to me that she just thought it best to steer clear of the situation. And I said that would be fine.
Then I contacted Ms. Marie Bartello to review my options. She stated that one of my options was to stay at home for fifty dollars a day, which had been earlier agreed. So I said that would be fine and did not pursue it further.
Q Just so I understand, the nature of the agreement with Ms. Hall would have been had this rental situation taken place, there would have been a contract or lease agreement drawn up--
A Between her and my parents.
Q -- her and your parents. And The Maryland would


page 82

have paid her, and she would have in turn drawn a lease agreement with Maryland. They would have paid her, and she would have paid my parents.
Q Did you get to the point of asking how much are we going to pay you a day, or anything like that, with your parents?
As far as it went was between-- I spoke to my father a few times about it. I figured it up. The Maryland is paying me fifteen hundred a month to stay at home. It would have saved them money and given me the privacy I wanted for me to have rented my parents' house. They could have, in turn, paid them the twelve hundred dollars. I would have had my own place with my own garage for me to park my new Jeep in. I was living at home, a comparable living condition. My understanding made aware to me, the market value was fifteen hundred. But to save the company some money, I felt that twelve hundred was below market value and was a fair amount.
Q Did you have that discussion with your parents about it? They were the ones who would be getting twelve-hundred dollars?
A Exactly. My father agreed that he would be willing to move into my brother's residence for the time in which the repairs would take on my house, which was made aware to me of three to four months. Now, it has been five


page 83

months since the claim.
Q Tell me, again, where your brother lives?

A He lives on Monnett Road.
Q In Julian?
A Yes.
Q How far from your house?
A My place of residence or my house?
Q Your house.
A I live in Pleasant Garden. I would estimate about ten or more miles.
Q Is it ten or more further away from where you work?
A I'm not following you. Do you mean from my house or from my work?
Q From your work. In other words, Mr. Kimble,_ -I'm just trying to figure this out and not knowing where everybody lives and so forth. Why didn't you just go and live in your brother's house, if that was empty, and use that as your alternative place to live?
A It didn't have a garage, and it was a mobile-home. I wanted a three-bedroom, two-car garage house, as I lived in. It was furnished and was more compatible to what I had. I am entitled, under the policy, to have a comfortable dwelling. Would that not be comfortable compared to a mobile home? Yes or no?


page 84

MR. COOKE: He'll ask the questions and you answer them.
MR. BERGER: That's right. I'll ask the questions.
Q After Jennifer Hall told you that, did you not pursue that any further?
A I did not.
Q What payments, if any, has The Maryland made to you for the alternate living arrangements during this period? Do you know?
A Zero.
Q They haven't paid you anything?
A No, sir.
Q Did they give you any advances?
A They've given me two advances. One said "replacement." On the other document, it stated in legal technicality "expenses/living." It was not specified or clear as to the dwelling expenses.
Q How much were the two payments?
A One time it was a thousand dollars, and the other was five thousand dollars.
Q What have you used those for?
A I purchased linens and things of that nature, due to the fact that at the time, I was planning to have my


page 85

own place.
Q How about clothes, for example?
A I bought linens, clothes, shoes, coats, survival things.
Q Have you kept the receipts for all that?
A They have been submitted.
Q That is probably something we will go over in just a minute. You submitted a Proof of Loss to the company, which I will mark as Exhibit No. 2.
Q With that Proof of Loss, there was a letter attached written by you; correct?
A Yes, sir.
Q I'll just hand you Exhibit No. 2, which consists of the proof and a two-page letter and ask you whether that, in fact, is the proof and the letter. (Counsel hands exhibit to witness.)
A (Witness examines exhibit.) Yes, sir. -
Q You have explained in the letter, Mr. Kimble, how you came up with the figures on the front page of the proof?
A To the best of my ability.
Q Do you have any additional explanation or other


page 86

explanation, other than what you've set forth in the letter? A None that I can think of.
Q You also have submitted an inventory or inventories, which I am going to jointly mark as Exhibit No. 3 and we are going to talk about this. But what I'd like to draw your attention to is this: You will notice in the bottom right-hand corner, I have numbered consecutively in little red numbers pages one through 108 just so you and I can be talking about the same page and the record will be clear.
A Yes, sir.
Q So when I talk about a page number or if you need to refer to a page number, let's look at the little red numbers in the bottom right-hand corner (indicating).
Now, we'll mark the inventory, jointly, as Exhibit No. 3. We will go by that and then the various pages of that exhibit.
Q I have a couple of questions about your letter, if you don't mind. Look in the second paragraph, if you would, towards the bottom. The sentence on the fourth line


page 87

up before the parenthesis, you said, "I did not attempt to list what was actually paid for these items. We will talk about that in a little more specifics in just a minute. What is the figure that you tried to use on the inventory where you list a figure?
A (Witness examines exhibit.) What it cost to replace.
Q Based on the research you did at department stores and that sort of thing?
A Yes, sir.
Q Then you say in the last sentence of that paragraph-- and this letter was to Ms. Bartello-- you say, as I understand, by your instructions this was the way I was supposed to proceed. What instructions did she, or anyone else from The Maryland, give you with regard to filling out the proof or the inventory forms?
A Gary Fields, sub adjuster, tried to explain numerous times to me the proper procedure for filling out the forms. And based on what I understood from him, I did that to the best of my ability. Or, rather, I and my mother.
Q You mean you and your mother?
A Yes, my mother did most of this paperwork, I must say. She helped me research and write it out legibly.
Q And I can appreciate that. Tell me, as best you can, what your understanding of what the sub adjuster, as you


page 88

called him, told you about how to fill out these forms.
A He said to write down what it was, a model number or stock number, approximate date of how old it was, and what the item cost. He also said not to write anything in actual cash value. That would be what I would be paid depreciated, according to the amount, a date purchased for that particular item at the time. Within six months, if I replace it, I would be reimbursed the full amount.
Q Did that adjuster give you any additional information or any other information, other than what you've just told us, about how to fill out the proof or the inventory forms?
A None that I can recall.
Q Did Ms. Bartello, or any other adjuster or anybody else from The Maryland, otherwise participate in any way in the filling out of these forms?
A None that I recall.
Q Explain to me the process that you and your mother went through to come up with the inventory, if you would, please.
A She, myself and a list of others, which I've submitted to the insurance company, inventoried everything that was left unburned but yet charred and sooted in the house from one side of the room to the other, and from one end of the house to the other.


page 89

Q So is it fair to say that where actual numbers are given on the left-hand side of these inventory forms where it says "Quantity," that is to indicate an actual counting that you did of those items?
A Accurately.
Q Where are all these items of property now?
A The contractor in which the insurance company asked to remove would know. They are most likely in the landfill, due to the fact that I have received a bill from them stating so.
Q When did you do physical counting of what was there?
A Sometime after the fire.
Q I'm sure that is right.
A Within a month, I would say.
Q When is the last time you saw any of those contents after you did the counting?
A These items listed (indicating)?
Q Yes.
A I tried not to set foot back in the house. I don't remember.
Q How long a period of time did it take you to actually go it and go through the stuff and count it?
A A couple of days.
Q Did you and your mother and any others that


page 90

helped you have working papers that you used as you were doing the counting from which you made the inventory?
A Do you mean the actual sheets in which it was transferred to these (indicating)?
Q Yes, sir.
A Yes, in fact, I am quite sure that I submitted copies of even those to the insurance company.
Q Before the fire, had you ever done any kind of inventory of your personal belongings, taken any pictures or videos, or that type of thing?
A Some years ago while playing with a video camera I walked through the house filming things. But I never actually documented the exact amount of pieces of this and things like that.
Q That video tape that you made--
A I have no idea.
Q The question I was going to ask was: Where is it? And your answer would be that you don't have any idea?
A Clue-less.
Q So you didn't have a safe deposit box or a lack box or a safe?
A I believe it was possibly prior to being married.
Q Was it this house that you walked through or some other house?


page 91

A Yes, sir.
Q As you and your mother and the others were going through the items, did you take any pictures or videos?
A No, sir. Gary Fields stated that he took all the pictures necessary. Some things were removed from the attic, such as a Christmas tree and things of that nature, which possibly he might not have taken pictures of.
Q Were any of the items in the house salvageable, from your standpoint, as you were going through them?

A Some things were salvaged.
Q Are those included on these inventory forms?
A Yes, sir. Gary Fields stated that anything I wanted, after he evaluated that they were a total loss, I could have. I, in great efforts, salvaged some of the china.
Q Was there anything else you were able to salvage, other than the china?
A Some of the video movies. I saved some only by throwing the cases away that they came in and finding that some of them were melted after trying to play them. But some were, in all honesty, nothing of great extent.
Q Have you been able to salvage any clothes?
A None at all. They were melted and sooted.
Q As best you are able to tell, Mr. Kimble the inventory that you submitted to the company is it an accurate and true inventory of what was in your house and what you're


page 92

making the claim for?
A Yes, sir.
Q Let me ask you a couple more global questions about the inventory, and then I'm going to ask you some specifics about it. Do you have documents, such as sales receipts, warranty forms, instruction manuals, and things of that nature, to back up any of the inventory items that you claim?
A None that I'm aware of.
Q Were those things that you generally kept?
A No, sir.
Q Looking at the first page, as an example, on the inventory items in the third column where it says "Manufacturer, Brand Names, and Serial/Model Number," some places are filled in and some are not. The number that-you have filled in there, what does that represent?
A I was told I had to put something there. When we went out and did the research, we found a number next to the price. It was possibly a model number or department number where to find that item. So we put it down.
Q Just so I'm clear, let's look at the first item, for just a minute, on page one that has fifty-seven dresses with the number 608709. It is your testimony that 608709 was the number on some dress item that you found in some store somewhere?


page 93

A Not just somewhere, Belk's at Four Seasons Mall.
Q So that represents a--
A A model or possibly a department number.
Q A serial number or whatever?
A Exactly.
Q Who actually went to Belk's at Four Seasons Mall to come up with that number?
A Edna Kimble and Ted Kimble did.
Q What you just described to me would be true for each item on which there is a serial or model number listed?
A Yes, sir.
Q You have listed here (indicating) under Item No. 1, "57 dresses, Item No. 608709, Date of Purchase 1-4 years." How did you make the determination on any of these items as to when they were purchased?
A Based on the fact that it was older than I knew her. I don't know what the average life of a dress is.
Q That's what I'm trying to get at. Of those 57 dresses, do you know how many were purchased within the last year or since you've been married or in four years?
A I haven't tried on any lately.
Q I'm not asking you how many you bought. I'm asking you do you know how many of those dresses were purchased--
A I have no idea.


page 94

Q When you say that the replacement cost is a hundred and thirty dollars, how did you come up with that figure, as opposed to some other figure?
A Because dresses vary anywhere from a hundred dollars to two hundred dollars. I felt that was in the ballpark. I didn't want to write down a three hundred dollar dress and try and exploit the insurance company. So I felt it was on the average. Based on what Gary Fields explained to me, I tried to go down the middle.
Q Tell me what Gary Fields told you about that.
A He stated that-- When I asked him, I gave him the example of towels for ten dollars and towels for thirty dollars. So if I list a twenty dollar towel, is that not accurate? And he said, yes. So that was what I tried to do, in all fairness.
Q In physically going through and making this inventory, if I understand what you told me earlier, you or your mother or somebody counted 57 dresses?
A Yes, sir. My mother and friends of hers actually went through my wife's closet and counted them.
Q Did any of you write down any make, manufacturer or label on any dress?
A I believe she possibly listed some of the brands that she was familiar with.
Q Were the labels not readable in some of the


page 95

A Most of her clothes were melted together. The fire had just all but-- You couldn't even see in her closet because it was so black. We had to drag the clothes out and throw them in the middle of the floor and try to peel them apart.
Q When you did that, were you able to read labels?
A I didn't inventory them, so I'm not aware.
Q During the time that you and your wife were married, where did she shop for her clothes?
A We went to Belk's and to the mall.
Q To Four Seasons Mall?
A Yes. I didn't go shopping for clothes that often. Most of the time she went.
Q When she went, as best you know, if you knew where she went, would she go to the mall and shop at Belk's and other department stores in the mall?
A Yes, sir, as far as I know. I can't honestly say. I can't remember where she did most of her shopping. We were average people. We looked for bargains just like everybody else. That dress may cost a hundred and thirty dollars to replace, but my wife was very conservative, and so am I. You just don't go spend necessarily four hundred dollars for a suit, but you will buy it when it is on sale.
Q When she would go shopping to buy clothes at


page 96

Belk's, do you know whether she paid for it with a credit card, cash, check, or how?
A Cash or check. I have no idea. We did not use credit cards.
Q Other than the local stores, do you know whether your wife went other places, such as Winston, High Point, Raleigh, and wherever else people go from here to go shopping?
A I don't recall.
Q Did she travel much outside of this area?
A I don't remember.
Q In looking at some of these other items, Mr. Kimble, for example, the third item on there says "92 t's." Is that what that says?
A Yes, sir.
Q What are "t's"? Are they tee-shirts?
A Like blouses, I believe.
Q And you all counted ninety-two of those?
A Believe it or not. It was not me. My mother and her friends, who are responsible adults outside of this - family, helped inventory these items. They will testify that these numbers are correct. My wife never threw anything away; never.
Q How many bedrooms did you all have in your house?


page 97

Q Where was her stuff kept?
A In a long walk-in closet.
Q In your bedroom?
A In the master bedroom.
Q Going doing further (indicating), you list "56 blue jeans and 14 dress jeans." Just so I'm clear, again, your testimony is that somebody counted 70 pairs of jeans in that house?
A Yes, sir.
Q Where were those kept?
A I'm not sure if this is hers and mine.
Q Actually, you have a separate list of your own stuff, which we'll cover later.
A Apparently, it was in her room. There, again, other adults counted these items as though you could have gone in there and inventoried it. Do you follow my point? know the numbers seem high, but it is not a number I pulled out of my head or added to. I had other responsible adults, in which I sent copies in their writing, where they listed those items and actually counted those items. I and some other friends were in here inventorying my things. I had other adults of older women over in these other rooms inventorying those things.
Q What did you do, if anything, Mr. Kimble, to


page 98

assure yourself that the numbers listed on these inventory forms are accurate?
A Piece by piece from one side of the room to the other.
Q I apologize. I didn't make my question clear. I understand what you're telling me, if I understand it correctly, is that you didn't actually count the 72 pairs of blue jeans, for example? Somebody else counted those; correct?
A Yes, sir.
Q What you are saying is that you are relying upon their counting when you put these numbers on here?
A Yes, sir.
Q With regard to the 56 pairs of blue jeans, what you and your mother or somebody did was to go to Belk's Four Seasons Mall and found a pair of blue jeans that you felt were comparable; correct--
A Yes, sir.
Q -- and wrote down that serial number, which apparently is 6172 and whatever price was on those jeans?
A Yes, sir.
Q You and your wife were married in '93?
A The end of '93.
Q Did she buy alot of clothes in '94 and '95?
A I don't know. We bought clothes all the time.


page 99

Most of my clothes, I would dare say, were very old. I go through jeans pretty quick. I wear them to work in, and I do construction work.
Q Well, I'm really talking about her right now.
A As far as her, I didn't keep up with what she bought. She went shopping. I worked fifty to sixty hours a week. I work in the yard and the garage, while she may go shopping. When she would come home she might say, "Look honey, a new dress." I would say, "Great, dear. It looks wonderful on you." And that was the extent of her shopping that I paid attention to. She knew what we could and couldn't afford.
Q You listed under "Date of Purchase, 1-3 years."
Do you see that?
A (Witness examines exhibit.)
Q My question to you is: Is it your belief that in the one to three years prior to the time of the fire that your wife purchased 56 pairs of blue jeans?
A I couldn't imagine being able to afford all of these clothes in the one to three years. I tried to
accurately estimate on these things. This (indicating) is one of a hundred and some pages. I tried, to the best of my ability, to estimate. How long can you wear them, as far as a purchase date? I have no idea. I don't know what to say. I can't accurately say. I know half the stuff was older than


page 100

we were married. We were married not quite two years. So I have no idea. You're asking me to guess when she bought something before I even married her.

Q No, sir, actually, what I'm asking you is whether you believe that the comment you have under here under the date of purchase is accurate.
A Just looking at it, I wouldn't say that all 56 pair were bought in one to three years. I would say,
probably a third to half of those were purchased within the last three years.
Q Just so you and I understand each other, you have kind of hit the nail on the head of what struck me when I read this. Looking at your income and your wife's income, the figures you gave me earlier, and your obligations, I am a little hard pressed to figure how you could afford seventy
pairs of blue jeans in the last few years. That is what I would really like for you to explain for me.
Just so we are clear and I am fair to you-- I know this is one page out of a hundred and eight pages-- if you go through the pages of your wife's inventory and your -own clothes, I have the same question that I asked you earlier. Are there sources of income out there that we haven't talked about that can explain clothes purchases of this amount in the last couple of years?
A I understand what you are saying. I was told


page 101

that I had to put a date down, and what do I put? Well, I think it's twenty years old. I have no way of logically knowing how old this is. I wasn't there when she bought it. I could more accurately estimate how old my clothes are versus hers, especially, since I didn't inventory her clothes. But just having, in the past, folded clothes and helped her around the house, I noticed that the girl never threw anything away. So to say that she had 57 pairs of jeans in the last three years would be guessing. I mean, I was told I had to put a date there. Now, I know that some of her clothes were pretty old. They had to be. Like you said, nobody could afford this many clothes. I don't know where all of them came from. But to make a long story short, I don't know how old those clothes are or a purchase date. I was told that I had to put something in that blank, and that's exactly what I did.
Q That's fair, and I understand. I've never met you, or never met your wife, or never seen your house or your stuff. To be honest with you, when I look at this-- I mean, I'm married, too, and have a bunch of kids-- seventy pairs of blue jeans seems like alot to me, especially, when they are purchased in one to three years. Do you understand what I mean?
A I'm not arguing. I was told I had to put a number there. I took a stab at it. As many weeks worth of


page 102

work that you're looking at, it is almost impossible or unjust to ask somebody to do this and be accurate.
Q I've told you what my question is about this, and I'm not quarreling with you. I'm just trying to find out your explanation. All we are here today to find out is your best explanation, and that's all we need, okay? Nobody is quarreling with you on how you did it, but those are the
questions I'm trying to clear up. So is it fair to say that with regard to all your wife's clothes, and actually with regard to each piece of stuff in here-- and we'll talk about your own clothes in
just a second-- what you have just described would be true about how you went about doing this and how you came up with the age and amounts and prices?
A On my clothes?
Q On everything in this inventory (indicating).
A I would say that most other things are more accurate than her clothes.
Q Let's go on and talk about some of those things. Look at page thirteen, if you would. There is a set of documents there that are pages thirteen through twenty-one. Do you see that?
A (Witness examines exhibit.) Yes, sir.
Q That looks to me like the group of sheets and towels and linens as you, I think, described earlier that you


page 103

have actually replaced.
A Yes, sir.
Q Just so I understand what these documents are, the receipts attached to the back of the inventory on pages seventeen through twenty-one would be where you went out and purchased the towels and linens and so forth?
A Yes, sir.
Q And it's your testimony that all of these sheets, towels, comforters, and so forth were in the house at the time of the fire?
A Yes, sir.
Q And they were destroyed?
A Yes, sir.
Q You determined the amounts, for example, about halfway down the first page on page thirteen where it says "18 bath towels," you determined that by a physical count, as you did with the clothes?
A Yes, sir.
Q Mr. Kimble, did you, when you went out to purchase the items at wherever they were from Belk's--
A Belk's, Penny's.
Q -- did you make an attempt to purchase similar items to those that you had?
A Yes, sir.
Q And the number of these items, specifically, on


page 104

pages fourteen through sixteen were purchased in the last six months to two years?
A Well, I had six wedding showers. To make a long story short, that is where alot of my china came from. These linens and things, as far as the dates, I felt was irrelevant. But I was told I had to put something there. In my understanding, Gary Fields said that I would be reimbursed the total amount or the value of these items. So what did it matter what the dates were listed if they were five years
old. I would be compensated. I had replacement insurance.
Q You may be answering something, though, that I'm not asking. My question with regard to the linens, towels, and that sort of thing, which were purchased over the last six months to two years, is did you purchase any of those?
A I just guesstimated on the dates. I don't -- recall having bought any, other than, possibly, some sheets. I know that for Christmas that we had gotten some new flannel sheets. We had a brand new comforter set complete.
Q Where were the sheets and comforter purchased from?
A Penny's.
Q With cash or credit card?
A However she bought it.
Q So that was something that she did?
A Yes.


page 105

Q Let's talk about your clothes.
A Do you follow my point on the dates? You know, I tried to write down the dates. We got several things from the showers. I replaced the items. I started not to even write a date, but I was told that I had to write a date.
Q I understand. To sum up-- with regard to how many things that were in there-- how many sheets; how many towels; how many comforters?
A We counted those.
Q So the numbers on here are based on the actual count?
A Yes, sir.
Q Beginning on page twenty-two, I think, let's look at your clothes for just a minute. If you look, Mr. Kimble, at the middle column where it says, "Date of


page 106

A Yes, sir, I would guess that most of these are within one to two years.
Q For example, the first line says, "84 tee shirts." Is it your belief that you bought 84 tee shirts in the last one to two years?
A Roughly or approximately. That would be pretty accurate for the most of them, I would say.
Q When you bought those tee shirts, where would you buy them?
A At the bookstores. I like Christian tee shirts. At one time, my father printed tee shirts, but he doesn't anymore. To replace them, it would cost me twenty-four dollars a shirt at the Baptist Bookstore for those tee shirts.
Q Was your father printing tee shirts in the-one to two years prior to the fire?
A Yes, sir.
Q About a third of the way down, you have "33 dress shirts."
A Yes, sir. -
Q Is it your belief that you bought 33 dress shirts in the past one to two years?
A One to two or one to three. I wear my clothes out. I do hard work.
Q Is the average price for the dress shirts that


page 107

you buy at seventy-nine dollars, as you listed over there under "Replacement Cost"?
A They vary.
Q Pardon me?
A They vary. I mean, I might buy a shirt that cost fifty dollars, and I might buy one that cost more like around seventy-nine dollars. It depends. Most of the time I'll buy a shirt when it's on sale.
Q Where did you normally buy your dress shirts?
A You can buy them in Belk's. Alot of times, they will run sales at the end of the seasons.
Q Is that where you bought most of those?
A I buy my clothes alot of different places. I buy them at American Eagle. I buy some at Penny's, but not very often. I buy alot at Belk's and some at Eddie Bower. I was told to put an example down, so I did. That's why I attached a letter to this (indicating).
Q The same would be true for all of your own items of clothing, which are listed on pages twenty-two and twenty-three?
A What are you asking me about these items?
Q That the number in the left-hand column represent the actual quantity--
A They are the numbers.
Q -- that you counted in the house?


page 108

A Yes, sir.
Q And that they were all purchased within the last one to two years?
A A guesstimation.
Q Let's take a look, if you would, at pages twenty-four through twenty-eight. If I understand this, Mr. Kimble, these are the things you have actually replaced?
A (Witness examines documents.) Yes, sir, they are.
Q Is there any overlap between the items listed on pages twenty-four and twenty-five? For example, where you purchased shirts, jackets, shoes, and that sort of thing and the items listed on pages twenty-two and twenty-three?
A I'm sorry. Would you say that again? Oh, yes, sir. These items would be deducted from these items (indicating).
Q Throughout the inventory where you have listed items which were destroyed, and then you list other items and attach receipts where you have purchased items, is it fair to say that those that you've purchased should be deducted from those that you have listed?
A Yes.
Q Do you know the makes of any of the furniture that was in your house?
A No, sir.


page 109

Q When you went back in the house after the fire and did the inventory, did you write down the makes of any of that furniture?
A No, sir, not that I recall. I just took a mental note if it was solid wood or not.
Q Did someone tell you not to write down what make it was?
A No, sir, no one told me to write the make down, either.
Q In a number of places-- Look, for example, on page forty-- you have various children's things, such as crayons, coloring books, Disney sing-a-long tapes, and that type of thing-- did you all have kids in the house?
A We had purchased Christmas items on sale to be given at Christmas.
Q And those were kept where, in the attic?
A Actually, they were boxed up in one of the spare bedrooms. They were brand-new items that had never been opened.
Q You told me earlier about keeping the dog for your mother that day. Did you all have a dog yourself?
A Yes, sir.
Q Had you bought the dog fairly--
A No, sir.
MR. COOKE: Let him finish the question and


page 110

then you can answer it.
THE WITNESS: I'm sorry.
Q Did you get the dog fairly soon prior to the fire?
A Yes, sir.
Q Did someone give it to you?
A I guess you could say that. It was a stray we picked up.
Q Look at page fifty-four, if you would, Mr. Kimble.
A (Witness examines documents.)
Q This (indicating) appears to be some of your wife's jewelry. Is that what that is?
A Yes, sir.
Q Did you ever have any of that jewelry appraised?
A No, sir.
Q I notice on there that there is not an indication as to when that was purchased. Were these things that were purchased before or after you were married? -
A (Witness reviews documents.) I'm sorry. forgot to fill that (indicating) in. I bought her the earrings and the bracelet. The earrings were purchased during the marriage and the bracelet, as well. The necklace I gave her previously. I purchased it a long time ago. She


page 111

gave me the one I wear for a wedding present. There was more jewelry than that. But due to the fact that there was only a thousand dollars worth of jewelry that would be covered, I didn't see any reason to list the rest.
Q Turn with me, if you would, to page sixty-one.
A (Witness reviews documents.)
Q I have a photocopy of this and have given it to you in the same manner in which I received it, which has a business card in the middle of this thing (indicating).
A Yes, it does.
Q Tell me what these two pages (indicating) represent.
A Electronics in the house, or items which could be purchased at Circuit City. This was the salesman
(indicating) who waited on me.
Q So the salesman who waited on you, meaning that when you went in to--
A Get an estimate of a replacement. This (indicating) is what he helped me with. These were the items which were in my house, to the best of my ability.
Q Look at page sixty-two, if you would, the second page. There are a number of what appear to me to be stereo components. And you say they are four months old?
A (Witness reviews documents.) Yes, sir, they were replaced by the insurance company due to the last robbery


page 112

Q Sc the "ONK, JBL" and the Panasonic stuff there that says it is four months old, those were--
A Brand new.
Q -- new and paid with from the proceeds of the last insurance claim?
A The insurance company handled it.
Q Do you need to take a break?
A I just got paged, so I really need to take a break.
Q Okay, go ahead.
Q Mr. Kimble, turn with me, if you would, to pages seventy-five through seventy-seven.
A (Witness reviews documents.)
Q These (indicating) appear to be kitchen-type items, and that sort of thing.
A Yes, sir.
Q First of all, the comment at the top left-hand corner that says, "See pg. 47 for warranty." What is that talking about? Do you know?
A I'd have to look back on page forty-seven.
Q Well, to be fair to you, I'm the one that numbered the pages in the bottom right-hand corner. I don't


page 113

know, otherwise, how they may be numbered.
A (Witness reviews document.) Okay. I see what you're saying. I was thinking that it may have been a page out of a catalog or something. I don't know. There is no telling. I have seen so many of these things (indicating), and I've looked at these for two to three months.
Q On these three pages (indicating), the date of purchase for all of those items is listed at one year.
A I possibly put one year due to the fact that I plan to replace all of these items.
Q But my question to you is: Is it your recollection that within the year or so prior to the fire, that you all bought the items listed on pages seventy-five through seventy-seven?
A This is tupperware. My wife gave tupperware parties occasionally. So, yes, most of these items were within a year old. I understand it now. It has just come to me that she gave a few tupperware parties that I can recall. You will note that most of these (indicating) are just one item.
Q There have been some of the pages that we've gone over, I think early on, where there were some names and phone numbers written at the top. Would that be-- Well, an example would be like on page forty-one where it says, "John A. Murray, 855-3242."


page 114

A What were the items listed there?
Q My question was going to be that to the extent that there are names and phone numbers, are those the people who helped you?
A Yes, at the departments. They helped me list these items. Sometimes, when possible, I would get an employee's name and number that the insurance company could possibly contact them to ask them if they sold these items at their store. So it was to help them.
Q Do you list on these pages, or someplace else, the names of folks who actually did the counting of these items?
A If I remember correctly, I submitted that information to the insurance so that they would be compensated for their labor. I was told by Mr. Fields that they would be compensated for their time.
Q If you did not, in fact, submit those names, would you still have those work sheets?
A Have, get, or give.
Q I think--
MR. COOKE: Could you answer that clearer for the record? I didn't understand your answer. He
(indicating) may have.
THE WITNESS: Yes, sir, I believe I have. And if not, I will.


page 115

MR. BERGER: I thought that was what he was saying.
MR. COOKE: I figure that was what he meant. But I thought that for the sake of clarity, I'd ask him. BY MR. BERGER:
Q If you would, look at page 101. It looks like you were talking about-- Were these trees and stuff inside the house?
A (Witness reviews documents.) Yes, sir.
Q It says to "see notes." Do you know what notes you are talking about? Do you know?
A I'd have to ask my mother. All I know, we had a couple of nice trees that were a good size in the house.
Q Is all this (indicating) in your mother's
handwriting? Is that whose writing all this (indicating) ?
A Yes, sir.
Q On page 103-- this may get back to what you were telling me a minute ago. Will you turn to that page for a second?
A (Witness reviews documents.)
Q Do you see on the bottom of that page where you listed some folks names?
A All right. Those are the people. That last "Scott" is supposed to be Scott Murray.
Q M-u-r-r-a-y?


page 116

A I believe so.
Q "Edna Kimble" is your mother?
A Yes, sir.
Q "Kathy Blankenship" is whom?
A She was employed to help us.
Q I mean is she a family or friend?
A A friend of hers from work.
Q A friend of your mother's?
A Yes.
Q "Scott Tidwell," who is he?
A A friend of mine from church. So is Scott Murray.
Q Where do the two Scotts live?
A In Greensboro; Scott Murray lives off Liberty Road, and the other Scott lives on Adams Farm.
Q On the next page is listed "Wanda Warner" on page 104.
(Witness reviews document.) Yes, sir.
Q Who is Wanda Warner?
A A friend of my mother's.
Q And, again, Mr. Kimble, the receipts that are on pages 105 through 108 are receipts for things which you have purchased?
A Yes, gas and things to proceed. I mean, I had to have gas to run the generator. I didn't bill for the


page 117

generator. Scott Murray loaned it to me, so I didn't have to rent one. We had no lights. Everything was so black that you couldn't see. So I had lights that I didn't have to rent, and I borrowed the generator. But I had to purchase some gas, gloves, gas can, and a few items like that.
Q Were you able to tell when you went in and did this physical inventory, whether anything had been stolen from your house?
A Yes, sir.
Q What had been stolen?
A Jewelry.
Q The jewelry that you listed in here?
A Yes, sir, some of it is gone and some not listed. Like I said, there was a thousand dollars limit. Did I answer your question?
Q Yes. So other than jewelry, is there anything else that you were able to tell had been stolen, as opposed to destroyed in the fire?
A It looked like some of my movies and CDs had been tampered with. My tool box had been moved. And I'm - talking about a three hundred pound tool box. It had been drug across the floor, but it wasn't stolen. It was hard to detect, due to the fact that the back two bedrooms of the house had been trashed.
Q What do you mean by that?


page 118

A Drawers were emptied, and it looked like it had been ransacked.
Q As best you know, all the stereo equipment was still there; televisions, and that type of thing?
A Yes, sir.
Q Between the time that you left to go to work in the morning that day and the time that you returned home after you were called and told your house was on fire, did you go back to your house at all that day?
A Never.
Q Other than your wife, are you aware of anybody else being there that day?
A Yes, sir.
Q Who else was there that day?
A My younger brother returned my truck earlier that day.
Q Do you know when that was?

A Around 1:00 or 1:30

Q Did he just drop off and leave?

A Yes, sir.

Q And this brother is in the Marine Corps?

A Yes, sir.

Q Final couple of questions. As I understand your testimony, you have spoken with Marie Bartello. You have also spoken with Gary Riley, I think you said his name was,


Page 119

and then somebody else with The Maryland?
A Yes, Gary Fields.
Q Is there anybody else with The Maryland with whom you have spoken to since you first got in contact with them?
A I talked to Kim somebody at the office to find out who the insured's company was and to find out who to report the claim to.
Q You called her at what office; the agent's office?
A Yes, the independent agent and whoever wrote the policy.
Q I realize that Ms. Bartello is sitting here (indicating) next to me. What I'm fixing to ask you may hurt her feelings if you answer it in a certain way, but I'm going to ask you nonetheless. Has anybody from The Maryland been ugly to you, or rude to you, or refused to talk to you, or not returned telephone calls and those types of things?
A No, sir.
Q From your standpoint as you view it, has the company been cooperative with you?
A Slow.
Q Slow meaning what?
A Slow to process this claim.
Q Has anyone from the company told you that they


Page 120

would do something that they haven't done?
A Not that I recall.
Q Other than the slowness in processing the claim, do you have any complaints about anything that The Maryland has done, with regard to this claim, up to this point?
A Other than being slow, no.
Q Mr. Kimble, since we've been here today, we've covered alot of subjects and talked about alot of things. I appreciate your time. Is there anything else that you'd like to say that I haven't asked you about that you feel like we need to clarify or that you wanted to add? Just for completeness, I'm asking if there is anything else you'd like to say that I haven't asked you?
A Not that I can recall.
Q From the outset-- Let me tell you again,—just so you know where we are going-- and, again, I appreciate your time today. I know that it is difficult to go back through some of this. I know that you spent alot of time on the inventory. The court reporter will type out or transcribe our discussion. She will send that to your attorney; that being a booklet with our discussion in it. It will have what's called an Errata Sheet, E-r-r-a-t-a, a sheet where you can go through the questions and answers and make any changes or corrections or whatever that you need to do to make our


page 121

discussion accurate. There will also be a signature page, which basically says that after you have read through the transcript and made any corrections you need to make, that when you sign it that says that this transcript is accurate and true as best you know. And that is, in effect, what you are swearing to as the truth with regard to our discussion. I would ask you-- You can keep the transcript. That is something that you can keep. But you are going to need to send back the Errata Sheet and the Signature Page to me when you finish with it. There will be a cover letter that explains that. The company will then take that information and evaluate the claim based upon the examination under oath and all the other information, the inventory and the Proof of Loss, etcetera, and give you a decision then on your claim. It is important that when you get the transcript that you read through it and sign it and make any changes you want to, because they won't make any decisions until that comes back to them. Is that fair enough?
A Yes, sir.
Q If you have no questions or nothing further, we will end this, and I appreciate your time.
MR. COOKE: One last thing while we are still on the record. He, in addition to the documents provided


page 122

earlier, did bring you a copy of the line one deed of trust with Nations Bank. I just wanted to give that to you on the record. (Counsel hands document to Mr. Berger.)
MR. BERGER: Thank you. Why don't I mark that as Exhibit No. 4, which I'll do right now.
THE WITNESS: Well, I do have a couple of things to say.
MR. BERGER: Okay, let me close this for clarification and then you can say whatever you like. So Exhibit No. 1, then, will be these documents you have produced from the bank. Exhibit No. 2 is the Proof of Loss. Exhibit No. 3, jointly, are the Inventory forms, which we have gone through. And Exhibit No. 4 is the deed of trust which you brought from Nations Bank.
MR. COOKE: I think we have ordered the '94 tax returns.
THE WITNESS: That is what I was going to refer to. I have ordered '94, and I have the '95's that I can get to you. As far as the other papers that you asked for, they either weren't available or I haven't been able to get. As far as the actual deed of trust on the house, I am in the process of pursuing.
MR. BERGER: I appreciate that, and I probably


page 123

ought to modify what I told you then. It is likely that the company will not make a decision until it gets those documents, too. And I know you have started that process, so whatever you can do to get the documents will help.
THE WITNESS: My question is to what extent those papers are needed? Some are not accessible or I can't provide.
Q Do you happen to have that list in front of you?
A No, sir.
Q I think I do. (Counsel looks for documents.) I will tell you that tax returns are important.
MR. COOKE: I don't think that is a problem. We are just waiting on the IRS. They are probably busy with other things right now and will cough them up sooner or_ later.
THE WITNESS: So it is okay with you to produce just '94 and '95?
MR. BERGER: Yes, sir.
Q Let's go through these, and I'm glad you brought this up, Mr. Kimble. I understand from your earlier testimony and from your attorney's question yesterday that you don't have the insurance policy or any other documents related to the insurance?


page 124

A I have a sheet specifying the limits, such as house value, living expenses, dwelling.
MR. COOKE: You don't have the policy?
THE WITNESS: Not the actual policy, no.
MR. COOKE: Okay.
Q You have given me all the documents that you have or have given the company all the documents you have supporting your claim. By that, I mean, any receipts or those types of things to support what is in your inventory. Is that fair?
A Yes, sir, what I've been given access to.
Q And you have ordered and have given us as Exhibit No. 1 the checking and banking information that we had asked for.
A For the years '94 and '95.
Q It take it from your earlier testimony that you did not fill out any personal financial statements, or you don't recall doing that?
A Correct. -
Q And you are waiting on the tax returns?
A Yes, for '94. I have '95's.
Q Right, you are waiting for the ones for '94. And you didn't order them for '93?
A I was told by Gary Riley that I didn't have to


page 125

have them.
Q I understand. I'm just trying to make it clear on what we have and what we need.
A I wanted you to specify what I had to have so I will know and try to get these things.
Q Right. As I understand it what is outstanding, meaning what we don't have right now, would be the one tax return, which you have already ordered, and that would be it; correct?
A Correct.
MR. COOKE: We will get that to you as quick as we can.
MR. BERGER: Okay, I understand. Thank you.
MR. COOKE: All right. Thank you.


page 126












MAY 17, 2000


page 127






STATE OF___________

COUNTY OF__________

OF______________ , 19_____


NOTARY PUBLIC________________


Transcribed by: HM




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

© PWC Consulting.  Visit our website at for information on our Mission and Services, and to sign up for our Newsletter.