Defense wants more taxpayer money for Hamilton firefighter death case

Defense wants more taxpayer money for Hamilton firefighter death case

One of two men awaiting trial charged in the arson fire that killed a Hamilton firefighter was back in court Monday while his attorney requested more funds for investigation.

William “Billy” Tucker, 46, of Richmond, Ky., is charged with two counts of aggravated arson and murder for allegedly starting a fire at his uncle’s Pater Avenue residence, where firefighter Patrick Wolterman died in December 2015.

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

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

Tamara Sack, Tucker’s attorney told Butler County Common Pleas Judge Greg Stephens that private investigator Brenda Beyersdoerfer had incurred $6,625 of work through June 22. Stephens previous approved $3,000 each for both Tucker and Parker for defense investigative services.

Sack requested payment of the overage as well as an additional $6,000 for the investigator.

Much of the work performed by the investigator involves going through GPS, Facebook and hotels that allegedly match Tucker’s use of his cellphone and accessing of his Facebook account in and around the area where the alleged crime occurred, Sack said.

She added the phone calls also include those made before and after the alleged crime.

“My client is charged very circumstantially,” Sack told the judge.

Stephens approved the funds already incurred over the authorized limit, but asked Sack to meet with the investigator and submit a more itemized estimate of more funds needed and he would consider the motion.

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.

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

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