Man#8217;s estate files suit against motel, convict

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 3, 2006

Lawsuit is against Roger Marshall, Lyle Motel

By Teresa Moore/The Ironton Tribune

The estate of a man killed two years ago in an arson fire at the Lyle Motel has filed a lawsuit against the motel owners and against the man who was convicted earlier this year of setting the deadly fire.

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The lawsuit was filed July 17 jointly by the estate of James Reed through its attorney, David Beck of Portsmouth. The suit seeks an amount in excess of $25,000 from all of the defendants named in the lawsuit, including Marshall, Lyle Motel owners Jerry Carey, David Carey and Rebecca Carey and unnamed defendants listed as John Does 1-10.

It alleges that the fire Marshall set was a “willful and malicious assault; therefore punitive or exemplary damages arise from said conduct.”

The suit also alleges that Lyle Motel owners had a “duty to exercise reasonable care in making the premises safe” and to “inspect for and discover hazards, make available fire escape routes, install and maintain properly functioning alarms and sprinklers…”

Beck was out of the office Thursday and not available for comment. Charles Knight, who represented Marshall in his criminal trial said neither he nor co-counsel William Eachus are representing Marshall in his civil matters.

A telephone call was placed to the Lyle Motel for any of the three Carey family members named in the lawsuit but the call was not returned as of press time.

This is the second lawsuit filed against Marshall and the Lyle Motel. The estate of John Meyer filed a lawsuit in July 2005, making similar allegations and asking for the same amounts from the defendants.

Myers, Reed and a third person, Lolaetta Corbin Hicks, all died in the Aug. 2, 2004, fire.

During the trial, Prosecutor J.B. Collier Jr. portrayed Marshall as a man bent on revenge after Hicks, his former girlfriend, left him for Meyer.

Marshall maintained his innocence and escaped the death penalty when the jury could not decide on his punishment.

Lawrence County Common Pleas Judge Richard Walton sentenced him to life in prison.