Moving Man Claims Boss Tried to Kill Him

     SAN LUIS OBISPO (CN) — Upset that an employee worked on the side, a business owner advertised him on the internet as a “butt scratcher” and then took it up a notch and sought a hit man to take him out, the worker claims in court.
     Anthony Gene Stevens, 52, of Los Osos, is in custody at San Luis Obispo County Jail, charged with two counts of solicitation of murder. He has pleaded not guilty.
     Police released few details about the arrest, telling the San Luis Obispo Tribune only that Stevens had tried to hire someone to kill a 30-year-old business associate.
     Stevens met with a hit man, who turned out to be an undercover officer, and gave him detailed information about the target, including his name, address and photographs, according to the Tribune.
     Stevens is due for his first hearing Thursday in San Luis Obispo Superior Court.
     Aaron Stireman’s civil case, filed Friday in the same court, supplies more details.
     Stireman says he began working for T. Stevens Moving Services in 2013, after having worked for other moving companies. Stireman began doing jobs under his own name in 2014.
     “This did not sit well with defendant,” according to the complaint.
     Stevens began using photographs Stireman sent him for record-keeping purposes in ads to promote T. Stevens Moving, according to the complaint. Stevens then sought a restraining order against Stireman and began filing “false and malicious” reports about him with government agencies, the complaint states.
     In December, Stevens posted a false ad on Craigslist with Stireman’s image, offering the services of a “BUTT-SCRATCHER” who “will scratch any animal butt,” the complaint states. “The description in the ad suggests Mr. Stireman will perform sexual acts on an animal and sophomorically implies Mr. Stireman is gay,” according to the lawsuit.
     Those actions were “bizarre enough,” then they turned violent according to the complaint.
     On Feb. 2, Stevens was arrested in an Arroyo Grande parking lot after handing an undisclosed amount of cash to an undercover police officer, hoping to have Stireman killed, according to the lawsuit and the Tribune.
     The newspaper reported that federal, state and county law enforcement agencies were involved, including the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, the California Highway Patrol and the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Department.
     Stevens is being held without bond, the sheriff’s office says.
     Stireman’s pain continues.
     “For many months, Mr. Stireman has suffered from anguish, fright, nervousness, anxiety, worry, and insomnia,” the complaint states. The malicious comments posted in the ads defamed him “and caused him to feel shame, mortification and hurt feelings,” it adds.
     Stevens’ website describes him as a licensed contractor, moving labor provider and security guard. His Twitter and Facebook business accounts are loaded with posts about conspiracies and anti-Obama rants.
     Stireman seeks punitive damages for intentional infliction of emotional distress, defamation, intentional interference with economic relations, fraudulent transfer, unlawful business practices, and other charges.
     He is represented by Jon-Erik Storm, in Los Osos.

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