Woman tells jury she gave ride to Hamilton arson suspect for $300 in pills

Published: Thursday, November 09, 2017 @ 2:12 PM
Updated: Thursday, November 09, 2017 @ 2:13 PM

Lester Parker and William Tucker Trial - Day 4

A witness who put William “Billy” Tucker near the scene of the fire that killed Hamilton firefighter Patrick Wolterman in December 2015, testified Thursday that she picked him up at a Richmond, Ky., CVS pharmacy and drove him to Hamilton’s East side in exchange for pills.

Tucker, 46, and his uncle Lester Parker, 67, are both charged with arson and murder in the fire at Parker’s Pater Avenue home that killed Wolterman on Dec. 28, 2015.

MORE: Daughter told police family may have been part of fatal Hamilton arson

For $40 in gas and a promise of pain pills, Courtney Basinger said she made the two-hour trip to Richmond on Dec. 27, 2015, with three children and Tucker’s girlfriend to give him a ride to Hamilton.

Once back in Hamilton during the early morning hours of Dec. 28, the Liberty Twp. resident said Tucker told her they were going to “the Knob” and instructed her to drive to and then pull over on Grand Avenue.

“He got out of the car with the bag,” Basinger told the jury during the fourth day of trial in Butler County Common Pleas Court.

“He said he would be back in about 20 minutes, to wait for him,” she said, adding that Tucker walked toward Pater Avenue. “He seemed like he was in a hurry.”

MORE: Daughter of man on trial in Hamilton firefighter death testifies about missing items

When Tucker returned to the car, he had a gas can, Basinger said.

“He was out of breath,” she told the jury.

Tucker then unrolled a paper towel and gave her 10 opioid pills that she estimated were worth $30 each.

It was not until a year later that Basinger said she realized Tucker may have been involved in the fatal arson.

“I didn’t realize until the detective knocked on the door,” she said.

MORE: Prosecutor: Hamilton man planned to burn home for insurance money

But during cross examination by Tucker’s defense attorney, Basinger admitted that before police questioned her, a friend had told her to go to the authorities with details about the car ride.

The defense also pointed out other contradictions in Basinger’s testimony.

Tucker’s defense attorney, Tamara Sack, played a tape of Basinger telling a detective in November 2017 that Tucker also had a pad lock with him when he returned to the car that night.

Parker’s defense attorney, David Washington, questioned Basinger about her drug use on the night she dropped Tucker off as well as the year that followed.

She admitted she may not have been clear headed at the time, saying that in December 2015 she was addicted to meth and opioids but has been clean for the past 10 months.

“Where you concerned about him spilling gas in your car,” Washington asked Basinger.

She answered, “No, the only thing I cared about was the pills.”

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Major Wright-Patt gate will temporarily close today

Published: Wednesday, April 18, 2018 @ 10:00 AM
Updated: Friday, April 20, 2018 @ 2:14 AM

Major Wright-Patt gate will temporarily close

A major gateway will close at Wright-Patterson today for maintenance, impacting the travel of thousands of commuters.

Gate 19B off National Road will be closed from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., according to base spokesman Daryl Mayer.

More than 5,700 inbound drivers travel through the entrance and nearly 6,300 drive off base through the gate every work day.

Crews will work on “routine maintenance” at the gateway, Mayer said.

RELATED: Wright-Patt gateway to close as part of security upgrade

“Since that (gate) is open 24/7 normally, they never have a chance to work on it,” he said.

Motorists may use Gates 1B off Springfield Street and Gate 22B off Interstate 675 as alternatives, according to Wright-Patterson.

Gate 19B had a major makeover last year with $1.3 million in upgrades that added overhead canopies, more guard booths and a barrier system, Wright-Patterson has said.

RELATED: Security concerns prompt Wright-Patt to close major gateway

The base closed Gate 26A off Ohio 235 because of security concerns this month. The gate, which had more than 5,000 vehicles a day, remains closed.

A new $10.5 million replacement gate, combining the current Gate 26A and the commercial truck entrance at Gate 16A off Ohio 444, is due to open late next year.

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Man jailed on suspicion of murder indicted on more charges

Published: Friday, April 20, 2018 @ 2:06 AM

A man already jailed on suspicion of murder in a Dayton homicide that occurred in January, was indicted Thursday on more charges.

ORIGINAL REPORT: Arrest made in Dayton man’s death over the weekend 

Kalvin K. Jones, 23, was indicted for aggravated possession of drugs and possession of cocaine, after a April 2017 case against him was reopened, according to online court documents.

Jones was already being held in Montgomery County Jail on a count of murder after he was accused in the death of Michael Cook, 21, found dead in an alley on Brooklyn Avenue.

He is being held on a $1 million bond on the murder charge, with a hearing set for June 22 in that case, court documents show.

Jones is scheduled to be arraigned on the drug charges Tuesday.

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2 Florida deputies shot, killed at restaurant

Published: Friday, April 20, 2018 @ 12:22 AM
Updated: Friday, April 20, 2018 @ 1:49 AM

Gilchrist County sheriff's deputy Taylor Lindsey, 25, left, and Sgt. Noel Ramirez, 29, right, a seven-year veteran, were shot and killed at a restaurant in Trenton, Florida, on Thursday afternoon,
Gilchrist County Sheriff's Office
Gilchrist County sheriff's deputy Taylor Lindsey, 25, left, and Sgt. Noel Ramirez, 29, right, a seven-year veteran, were shot and killed at a restaurant in Trenton, Florida, on Thursday afternoon,(Gilchrist County Sheriff's Office)

Two Florida sheriff’s deputies were killed Thursday, shot through the window of a Chinese restaurant as they shared a meal, The Gainesville Sun reported. The man who allegedly shot the Gilchrist County deputies was found dead in a car outside the restaurant, authorities said.

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Deputy Taylor Lindsey, 25, and Sgt. Noel Ramirez, 29, were eating at the Ace China restaurant in Trenton at 3 p.m. when they were shot, according to a Sheriff’s Office statement.

The Sheriff’s Office identified the shooter as John Hubert Highnote, 59, of Bell, Florida. Deputies responding to the shooting found Highnote dead from a gunshot wound, the statement said.

Lindsey had a girlfriend, while Ramirez was a seven-year veteran and was married with two children, Gilchrist County Sheriff Bobby Schultz said.

Schultz called the shooter “a coward,” while Bill Cervone, state attorney for Florida’s 8th Judicial Circuit, called the act “inexplicable.”

"It appears (the shooter) just walked up and shot them, then went to his car and shot himself. It’s inexplicable ... people will want to know why and we may never have an answer for them," Cervone told the Sun.

“Sgt. Ramirez and Deputy Lindsay were the best of the best,” Schultz said at a news conference. “They’re men of integrity, they’re men of loyalty, they are God-fearing and they loved what they did. We are very proud of them.”

Schultz added that he did not want to make his remarks political, but said “What do you expect when you demonize law enforcement to the extent it has been demonized?”

The shooting was not prompted by any incident in the restaurant, the Sun reported.

In a statement, Florida Gov. Rick Scott said he was “heartbroken.”

"It is true evil for anyone to hurt a law enforcement officer, and in Florida, we have zero tolerance for violence, especially against the police," Scott said.

President Donald Trump and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio tweeted their condolences.

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Police: Man stays at bar for 30 minutes after being stabbed

Published: Friday, April 20, 2018 @ 1:46 AM

A man who was stabbed at a Pittsburgh bar stayed there for 30 minutes before leaving, authorities said.
A man who was stabbed at a Pittsburgh bar stayed there for 30 minutes before leaving, authorities said.(WPXI,com)

A man who was stabbed early Thursday morning while at a Pittsburgh bar remained at the establishment for 30 minutes before leaving, investigators said.

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Police were called about 2 a.m. to a residential area near Pollock’s Cafe.

Investigators said the 40-year-old victim was stabbed in the shoulder after he apparently got into a fight with another person.

The man did not seek medical attention and stayed in the bar for about 30 minutes after he was stabbed before going to the residential area, police said.

The man was taken to a hospital, police said.


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