- Lauren Pack Staff Writer
A motion filed Monday by the attorney for one of two men charged in the arson fire that killed a Hamilton firefighter indicates a witness may place William “Billy” Tucker at the scene.
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.
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.
Attorney Tamara Sack has requested Butler County Common Pleas Judge Greg Stephens grant a jury view of the scene at 1310 Pater Ave.
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.”
Sack added the jury view is essential to her client’s constitutional right to “effectively confront the State’s case and to ensure an effective defense especially where timing and location of the crime are at the gravamen of the State’s case against Mr. Tucker.”
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.
Last month, Sack requested the court approve additional funds for an investigator to go 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.
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 during that hearing.
Wolterman died when he fell through the home’s first floor while fighting the blaze on Dec. 28, 2015.