The man who police say was the target of an alleged murder-for-hire plot filed a civil lawsuit against the man accused of trying to order the hit.
Aaron Stireman filed the suit in San Luis Obispo Superior Court against former business acquaintance-turned competitor Anthony Gene “Tony” Stevens, who now sits in SLO County Jail facing a charge of felony solicitation of murder. The suit seeks damages for the emotional distress and economic loss resulting from a feud between the two men that eventually lead to Stevens’ arrest.
Stireman worked with Stevens, who operated a moving company in Los Osos, beginning 2013, but when he left to start his own moving business, Stireman claimed that Stevens became angry and obsessed with him, and started a campaign of harassment against him.
According to the lawsuit, that harassment included filing false reports with various government agencies against Stireman and posting a Criagslist advertisement with Stireman’s image calling for a “butt scratcher” who will “scratch any animal butt.”
“The description in the ad suggests [Stireman] will perform sexual acts on an animal and sophomorically implies Mr. Stireman is gay,” the lawsuit states.
Court records filed in 2015 stated that Stevens also disparaged Stireman and his business online.
The situation came to a head Feb. 2, 2016, when Stevens was arrested after he allegedly tried to arrange Stireman’s murder. According to police, Stevens provided the “hitman”—an undercover detective—with photos and a home address of the intended victim, and even agreed on a price for the hit. He was arrested after he returned with cash to pay for it, according to police.
Stevens pleaded not guilty to the charges against him. His criminal case remains ongoing.