That last post was about the quandary of whether to put Ron on the stand to testify. We called it the “Verlander case” because that was the name of the plaintiff, Mrs. Verlander, the lady suing my client, Ronnie Lee Morgan, the interior decorator, who had remodeled her house.
What had been expected to cost about $100,000 had turned out to be around $200,000. Many of the items placed in the house had been selected at the famous Dallas Market by Mrs. Verlander on a trip to the Market with Ron, who would assist in the choice of purchases. Mrs. Verlander selected the new bed with canopy for the master bedroom, the chandelier for the dining room, chairs and sofas for the living room, and unusual sconces to be placed in eye-catching places.
The demolition of the kitchen and its reestablishment took more time than had been anticipated, and when Mrs. Verlander’s husband would show up at home, he would have to listen to his wife’s carping, not to mention the cost that was now getting his attention. Much of the wife’s unhappiness was that her husband spent more time with his mistress than he did her. So, to make peace, the husband proposed a Caribbean trip for three weeks, and he told Ron to have that house completed before their return.
Indeed, Ron did have it completed, and when I saw it, I thought it looked great. Not Mrs. Verlander! She claimed Ron had destroyed her happy home, and a lawsuit then ensued. On its face, this seemed a simple enough case to defend. As I saw it, a case over invoices, owner’s directions, and quality of work, at least that was the way it appeared until depositions were taken of the vendors at the Dallas Market.
It became evident in the course of deposition testimony that the invoices from the vendors were not the invoices used to charge Mrs. Verlander, in spite of the fact that her invoices had the letterheads of the actual vendors at the Market. The invoices she saw had been forged, and the prices for the items were substantially higher than the wholesale price Ron had promised to charge her.
This case was taking a turn for the worse and taking on the dark color of fraud.
I write of the Verlander case in my book: The Ronnie Lee and Jackie Bancroft Spencer Morgan Story, a tale of people, greed, envy, manipulation — even crime.