Second man charged with arson, murder in death of Hamilton firefighter Patrick Wolterman

Billy Tucker faces extradition hearing on Jan. 18
Second man charged in firefighter death
Posted at 5:46 PM, Jan 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-11 09:48:58-05

HAMILTON, Ohio -- A second person was arrested and charged with murder Friday in connection to the death of Hamilton firefighter Patrick Wolterman more than 100 miles south of where the fire took place.

William Tucker, 49, of Richmond, Kentucky, stands charged with murder and two counts of aggravated arson for his role in Wolterman's death, according to a news release from the Hamilton Police Department. He was arrested in Kentucky after Hamilton police were able to locate him in Madison County south of Lexington.

Tucker appeared at a video hearing Wednesday morning before Madison County Judge Charles Hardin, who ordered him held on a $1 million cash bond because of the nature and the charges and the fact he is a flight risk. Hardin scheduled an extradition hearing for 9 a.m. Jan. 18 to transfer Tucker to Butler County.

"I want to thank our investigators who delivered, today and throughout this past year, on a pledge we made after the death of Patrick," said Hamilton Police Chief Craig Bucheit in a news conference. "That pledge was to pursue every lead, to work every angle and exhaustively pursue those responsible for his death."

Patrick Wolterman died Dec. 28, 2015, while attempting to rescue people dispatch believed were trapped in a house fire at 1310 Pater Ave. In reality, no one was inside the home, and Wolterman died of smoke inhalation after falling through the first floor. Butler County Coroner Lisa Mannix later classified Wolterman's death as a homicide.

Lester Parker, the 66-year-old homeowner, claimed to have been out of town with his wife at the time of Wolterman’s death; he now stands charged with aggravated arson and murder. At the time of Parker’s arrest -- the culmination of what one officlal called “the most extensive investigation” Hamilton had seen in decades -- Hamilton Police Chief Craig Bucheit said he was “confident” that more arrests would be made.

WATCH WCPO’s exclusive 2015 interview with Parker below:


Parker pleaded not guilty to both charges. He and Tucker -- who is his nephew, according to the Journal-News -- will be co-defendants in a trial scheduled to begin Feb. 21.