Roger D. Firestone
from Coosa Circuit Court (CV-10-900025)
D. Firestone sued Carl Weaver, Charles Tooley
("Tooley"), L.C. Collins, Jr. ("L.C."),
and Mickie Wayne Collins ("Mickie") (hereinafter
collectively referred to as "the defendants"),
alleging that the defendants conspired to and did brutally
assault and batter Firestone. Firestone appeals from a
summary judgment entered by the Coosa Circuit Court in favor
of Weaver dismissing Firestone's claims against Weaver as
barred by the applicable statutes of
and Procedural History
deposition testimony indicates that Firestone, Chuck
Amberson, and Daryl Coleman frequented a hunting cabin they
had built in Coosa County ("the hunting cabin").
According to Firestone's deposition testimony, Amberson
and Coleman regularly smoked crystal methamphetamine at the
hunting cabin, a supply of which they kept in "a hiding
place somewhere" at the hunting cabin.
statement Tooley gave the Coosa County Sheriff's
Department after he was apprehended for the offense and after
waiving his rights under Miranda v. Arizona, 384
U.S. 436 (1966), Tooley indicated that Weaver knew that there
was "a bunch of crystal meth" at the hunting cabin.
Tooley said in his statement that Weaver took Tooley to the
area where the hunting cabin was located to show him where
the cabin was and urged Tooley to return to the cabin to
steal the crystal methamphetamine. According to Tooley's
statement, Weaver gave Tooley $600 "for expenses"
and Tooley recruited L.C. and Mickie to help him steal the
deposition testimony indicates that, on May 16, 1995,
Firestone, Amberson, and Coleman were at the hunting cabin
when Tooley, L.C., and Mickie arrived. L.C. and Mickie
restrained Firestone, Amberson, and Coleman and questioned
them about the location of the crystal methamphetamine and
any cash they may have had. Coleman gave L.C. and Mickie the
crystal methamphetamine, and Firestone, Amberson, and Coleman
gave L.C. and Mickie all the cash they had. According to
Firestone's deposition testimony, L.C. and Mickie did not
believe that Firestone, Amberson, and Coleman had given them
all the crystal methamphetamine and cash in their possession.
L.C. and Mickie then doused the hunting cabin and Firestone,
Amberson, and Coleman with kerosene and set the hunting
cabin, with Firestone, Amberson, and Coleman restrained
inside, on fire. Firestone, Amberson, and Coleman suffered
substantial injuries as a result of being burned in the fire;
Amberson and Coleman eventually died from their injuries.
Tooley, L.C., and Mickie were eventually charged with various
crimes arising out of the events described in Firestone's
deposition testimony; all three men ultimately pleaded guilty
to the charges in 2010.
February 23, 2000, D.B. Matson, a deputy state fire marshal
employed by the Alabama Department of Insurance, created a
report concerning the incident. Matson's report states
that, on June 10, 1996, Christi Coleman Hicks, who was
married to Coleman at the time of the incident, informed an
Alabama Bureau of Investigation ("ABI") agent
investigating the case that "she heard that L.C. ...,
Stanley Tooley, and ... Tooley did the burning in Coosa
County." Matson's report further indicates that
Tooley told another individual "that he and his brother
[Stanley] did the crime." Matson's report states
that "Tooley was picked up by an undercover police
officer ... and questioned about this incident."
deposition testimony indicates that, in 2007, Firestone's
son told Firestone that he had heard that in 1995 Tooley had
stolen the same amount of crystal methamphetamine that had
been stolen from the hunting cabin on May 16, 1995. Firestone
informed the ABI officers investigating the case what
Firestone's son had told him concerning Tooley.
Firestone's deposition testimony indicates that the ABI
officers told him that they were going to investigate the
information Firestone's son had heard concerning Tooley.
testimony of Eddie Whorton, Betty Cheney, Brian Farley, and
Christi Coleman Hicks was presented by Weaver. Whorton's
affidavit testimony states that he "was an acquaintance
of ... Amberson and ... Firestone" and that,
"in 1995, approximately five months after the incident
[at the hunting cabin] which resulted in the deaths of ...
Amberson and ... Coleman and injury to ... Firestone, I
obtained information from a female friend that ... Tooley was
one of the individuals that perpetuated the deaths and
injuries. I obtained pictures of ... Tooley taken at a
wedding from this friend and took them to ... Firestone. I
showed the pictures of ... Tooley to [Firestone] and he
identified him as one of the assailants. I then contacted Roy
Harbin, who was a local law enforcement officer and provided
him with the information. I have knowledge that Roy Harbin
talked to [Firestone] after this and even put ... Tooley in a
line-up for ... Firestone."
deposition testimony, Firestone confirmed that in 1995
Whorton had shown him a picture of Tooley and that Whorton
told Firestone that Tooley "knew something about"
the incident. Firestone also confirmed in his deposition
testimony that he had met with Ray Harbin and that Harbin had
Firestone look at Tooley in a room to determine if Tooley was
one of Firestone's assailants.
affidavit states that she was married to Firestone at the
time of the incident but that they divorced in 1998.
Cheney's affidavit further states:
"3. Sometime between 1995 to 1996, ... Firestone was
called in for a meeting with Roy Harbin for the purpose of
attempting to identify ... Tooley from a lineup. Roy Harbin
specifically questioned ... Firestone about ... Tooley's
involvement. After the meeting, ... Firestone explained that
he was not able to identify [Tooley]. In response,
[Firestone] explained to me that Roy Harbin responded that
... Tooley was the guy who did it and he just let him go.
"4. In late 1997 to spring 1998, I received a telephone
call from a Kristy Hollingsworth. During this call, Ms.
Holling[s]worth informed me that she knew what happened to
[Firestone] in Coosa County. She gave me specific names of
people that she claimed to be involved, including, ... Tooley
..., L.C. ..., [and] Mickie .... The caller told me that it
was ... Tooley who did it. ... She also said that ... Weaver
was involved. ... I made contemporaneous hand-written notes
of this phone conversation.
"5. At a later date, I passed along my notes to ...
Firestone in anticipation of one of his meetings with the ABI
affidavit states that he "was a close friend" of
Coleman's and that he knew Firestone. Farley's
affidavit states that he "had heard information that the
perpetrators of this incident were Mickie ..., ... Tooley and
L.C." Farley's affidavit further states that in 1995
he informed an ABI investigator of the information he had
received concerning Tooley's, L.C.'s, and
Mickie's involvement in the incident. According to his
affidavit testimony, Farley also informed Firestone while
Firestone was in the hospital recovering from the injuries he
suffered in the fire of the information he had received
concerning Tooley's, L.C.'s, and Mickie's
involvement in the incident.
affidavit indicates that Farley also told her of the
information he had received concerning Tooley's,
L.C.'s, and Mickie's involvement in the incident.
Hicks's affidavit does not indicate that she passed this
information along to Firestone.
August 2010, Tooley, L.C., and Mickie pleaded guilty to the
attempted murder of Firestone. On August 20, 2010, Firestone
filed a complaint against the defendants and several
fictitiously named parties, seeking damages on claims of
conspiracy, the tort of outrage, assault and battery, and
attempted murder. Although Weaver was not present at the
hunting cabin, Firestone alleged that he organized and funded
the incident. Recognizing that a question ...