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Jury to view house where Hamilton firefighter died in fire

Published: Wednesday, October 04, 2017 @ 10:47 AM
Updated: Wednesday, October 04, 2017 @ 11:18 AM
By: Lauren Pack - Staff Writer

Jurors will view the Pater Avenue residence where Hamilton firefighter Patrick Wolterman died in 2015 during the trial next month for the two men charged in connection with the fatal arson fire.

Last month the defense attorney for William “Billy” Tucker filed a motion for a jury view.

Tucker, 46, of Richmond, Ky., is charged with two counts of aggravated arson and murder for allegedly starting the fire at his uncle’s residence at 1310 Pater Ave., where Wolterman died.

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The uncle, 66-year-old Lester Parker, who is the home’s owner, is facing the same charges.

Prosecutors say Parker solicited Tucker to light the fire. Parker and his wife were in Las Vegas when the fire broke out during the early morning hours.

In the motion, defense attorney Tamara Sack indicated there may be a witness who can place Tucker near the scene before the fire.

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In the motion, Sack said jury view of the scene is material to facts of the indictment specifically “regarding the location of the fire … leading to Grand Avenue at the location where the State’s witness alleges the defendant (Tucker) left the vehicle and headed on foot to the 1310 Pater Ave. location.”

During a hearing Wednesday, Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser said the state did not oppose the jury viewing the scene.

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A three-week trial for both Tucker and Parker is scheduled to begin Nov. 6 in Butler County Common Pleas Court. Both men have court-appointed attorneys.

Wolterman died when he fell through the home’s first floor while fighting the blaze on Dec. 28, 2015.

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