Alabama Jury Awards $5 Million to Arson Victim

December 9, 2010

Lauderdale County, Ala. jurors have awarded $5 million in damages to a woman who suffered life-threatening injuries in a 2004 arson fire.

The TimesDaily newspaper reported that 20-year-old Karrie Hayes testified during the civil trial that she still suffers pain from her injuries.

The jury deliberated eight minutes before reaching the verdict against Stevie Lawrence Woods, who was convicted in 2006 of first-degree arson. Authorities say he hired 35-year-old Jason Pruitt to burn down Hayes’ mother’s home.

Pruitt, who pleaded guilty to first-degree arson, testified in 2006 that Woods paid him $3,000 to set the fire to settle a debt that Hayes’ mother owed Woods.

A lawyer for Hayes says it’s unlikely Woods can pay the large sum and said a hearing will be held in February to determine how much Woods can pay.

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