The attorneys representing the son of late El Paso car dealer Dick Poe rested their case in the trial for control of Poe's state.
Richard Poe II's friend, Gerald Miller, was called to the stand late Monday afternoon for what proved to be rather revealing testimony. Poe II hired Miller as general manager of Dick Poe Toyota.
Miller, who said he is making a $250,000 annual salary at the dealership, said he spoke with Dick Poe often and even traveled with him on occasion.
Miller further testified Dick Poe -- who removed him and Richard Poe from his estate trust just days before he died -- was always proud of his son Richard. Miller said the father often complimented the son for his accomplishments in the car and tequila business even though the tequila business failed.
Miller also testified Dick Poe talked to him about a lot of things, but never shared with him a concern about his son using drugs. He said he warned Richard Poe he was concerned about the senior Poe's estate prior to a stock issuance that reverted control of the estate back to the father.
"I begged Richard to hire an attorney for years. I told him, 'there is something brewing.' I was scared enough to bring it to Richard's attention on a number of occasions. I told him, 'Richard, I'm scared, I'm worried.'"
Miller said Richard replied, "It's my dad. I'm not worried about my dad."
Miller, who stood to receive $300,000 from Dick Poe prior to the stock transaction, went on to say he was shocked by the last minute changes to Dick Poe's estate.
Tuesday's testimony revealed the senior Poe allegedly had discussions with his attorney as far back as 2012 to remove his son from his will.
The car dealer's longtime attorney, Paul Sergent, a defendant in the case and the secretary of Poe's estate, was the first witness called by the defense Tuesday.
Sergent, who said he has represented car dealers for more than 25 years, testified there were no stipulations that entitled Richard Poe II to be notified before shares of stock were issued for his father's estate.
He also indicated he had meetings with Dick and Richard Poe as far back as July 2013 to discuss future planning for the estate.
"Mr. Poe made several requests of Richard as to what he intended to do with his estate and whether or not he intended to get married and have children," Sergent said.
Sergent recalled a November 2014 meeting, which reportedly involved discussions about Richard Poe purchasing dealerships from his father.
The attorney representing Sergent and two other Dick Poe employees, Richard Munzinger, asked Sergent, "Richard was not willing to assume all the conditions, like keeping all the employees, even with his dad?"
"Correct," Sergent replied.
Munzinger then asked, "Richard required he fire all employees at closing and he would rehire the ones he wanted?"
"Correct," Sergent said.
"Did Dick Poe agree to fire all his employees," Munzinger asked.
"Absolutely not," Sergent replied.
Testimony Tuesday revealed Dick Poe valued his employees, and as part of his trust, left $2,000 to every full-time employee of his dealerships upon his death.
The trial is scheduled to continue at 9:30 am Wednesday.