Lawyer: Man charged in firefighter’s death won’t get fair trial here

Lawyer: Man charged in firefighter’s death won’t get fair trial here

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A lawyer for William Tucker Jr., one of two men charged in an arson fire that killed a Hamilton firefighter, wants his trial moved out of the city, saying he cannot receive a fair trial in Butler County. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

The attorney for one of two men charged in an arson fire that killed a Hamilton firefighter wants his trial moved out of the city, saying he cannot receive a fair trial in Butler County.

William “Billy” Tucker, 66, of Richmond, Ky., is charged with two counts of aggravated arson and murder for allegedly starting the fire at his uncle’s Pater Avenue residence, where firefighter Patrick Wolterman died in December 2015.

Lester Parker, Tucker’s uncle and the home’s owner, is also facing the same charges.

The men are scheduled to stand trial in November in Butler County Common Pleas Court.

Tamara Sack, attorney for Tucker, is requesting the court change the venue of the trial to a county “where publicity regarding this case has not been prevalent.”

Media coverage of the case “has been so extensive that the defendant will not be able to receive a fair trial in Butler County,” Sack said in the motion.

Change of venue is something that can only be considered after jury selection begins, according to Butler County Assistant Prosecutor David Kash.

“Until we are unable to seat 12 jurors who cannot be impartial, no court can decide (change of venue),” Kash told this news outlet.

Sack has also filed a motion to sever Tucker’s case from Parker’s, meaning the two men would have separate trials.

Prosecutors say Parker solicited Tucker to light the fire.

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