FROM THE MILLER COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT [NO. 46CV-13-315],
HONORABLE TED CAPEHEART, JUDGE
E. Norwood; and The Bullock Law Firm, by: William G. Bullock,
Sr., for appellant.
James, Miller & Hornsby, LLP, by: Troy Hornsby, for appellee.
Appellant Joel Friday filed a complaint against his brother,
appellee Randy Friday, to recover guns and ammunition, as
well as a large gun safe, that he had entrusted to Randy. The
Miller County Circuit Court ruled partially in Joels favor
and awarded him, among other things, the guns located at
Randys home. Joel argues that the trial court erred in not
awarding him a judgment for the value of twenty-nine guns
worth $ 24,050 that were missing from Randys home. We
following is a summary of the testimony presented at trial.
In 1985, Joel started and was active in operating a business
in Texarkana called Bucks & Ducks Sporting Goods. Joel ran
into some legal trouble in 2012 and was no longer allowed to
possess any guns or ammunition. Joel and Randy disagreed on
whose idea it was to store the guns and ammunition from the
business at Randys home. Nevertheless, Joel and some friends
took approximately ten pickup-truck loads of guns and
ammunition to Randys home. Joel said that he did not ask
Randy to sign a receipt at the time of the transfer because
they are brothers. According to Joel, the agreement was that
Randy would hold Joels guns, ammunition, accessories, and
components, along with the gun safe, until Joels probation
expired. In the two-year span of time that Randy had the guns
and ammunition, the brothers had a falling out. In 2014, Joel
was taken off probation, and his record was later expunged.
Joel then asked Randy for his guns and ammunition back, but
Randy refused to return them.
denied disposing of any of Joels guns or ammunition;
however, Joel had two friends who testified that they had
either helped load the guns and ammunition from the business
location or helped deliver them to Randys home. Both men
stated that Joel had a full inventory at Bucks & Ducks in
2012, including approximately one hundred guns. Joel
testified that in January 2013 he saw another friend, who had
also assisted with the delivery, driving down the county road
on which Randy lived with a load of ammunition. Joel also
stated that in 2015, he hired
a private investigator who bought ammunition from Randy and
reported that Randy had tried to sell him a rifle.
said that no inventory had been done when the guns and
ammunition were delivered to his home; however, an inventory
had been done after Joel filed the lawsuit. That inventory,
along with photos of the guns and ammunition, was introduced
at trial as defendants exhibit No. 1. This exhibit included
an informational page stating that the parties lawyers had
agreed to hire a nonbiased party to conduct the inventory.
One page of the exhibit contained a typed list of nineteen
guns, four gun cases, and one rifle scope with an explanation
at the bottom: "This was the total of all the firearms
in the house."
testified that, when the goods were delivered to Randys
home, he already had an inventory of his guns and ammunition
from the store. He stated that he could determine the balance
of the missing guns because he had records and referred to
"receiving and disposition books." Joel introduced
plaintiffs exhibit No. 4, which consisted of a handwritten
list of guns on three plain sheets of paper entitled "3
Pages Corrected Complete List of Guns" and "Joel
Friday List of Values of Guns." The list purported to
describe each gun, including the manufacturer, the model, the
serial number, the type of action, the gauge or caliber, and
an estimated value. There were approximately forty-six guns
on the list. Along with the list of guns and ammunition were
photos taken by Joel depicting empty shelves where the guns
and ammunition had been stored at Bucks & Ducks before they
were taken to Randys home.
written order, the trial court found "that Joel is
entitled to the return of all his guns and ammo as depicted
on Exhibit Def # 1, along with his gun safe" but found
that there was insufficient evidence to determine how many
guns were ...