Man won’t waive extradition in arson that killed Hamilton firefighter

William Tucker
Caption
William Tucker

A second man charged in the arson fire that killed a Hamilton firefighter has requested an extradition hearing in Richmond, Ky., where he was arrested Friday.

William “Billy” Tucker, 46, of Keri Ann Drive, Richmond, had a video court appearance Wednesday morning at the Madison County Hall of Justice, where he declined to waive extradition proceedings to Ohio.

Judge Charles Hardin ordered Tucker held on $1 million bond and set the extradition hearing for 9 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 18.

Tucker, who is the nephew of Lester Parker, the home owner also under indictment, was indicted by a Butler County grand jury on two counts of aggravated arson and murder for allegedly starting the fire that killed firefighter Patrick Wolterman in December 2015.

Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser said if Tucker doe not formally waive extradition during next week’s hearing, he will request a governor’s warrant to have him transported to Ohio.

Tucker was taken into custody by Kentucky State Police officers who found him at a local bar, according to Trooper Robert Purdy. He said Tucker had been living in the central Kentucky city for several months.

Last month, Parker, 66, was indicted on the same crimes. Parker is being held in the Warren County Jail on a $500,000 bond. On Friday a superseding indictment was issued by the grand jury also charging Parker with a second count of aggravated arson.

Hamilton Police Chief Craig Bucheit said on the day of Parker’s arrest that he believed more people would be arrested in connection with the deadly crime.

The murder charge carries a prison term of 15 years to life and a $15,000 fine. The aggravated arson charge carries a maximum prison term of 11 years and a $20,000 fine, according to the prosecutor’s office.

Wolterman fell through the first floor of Parker's Pater Avenue home while fighting a fire that was later ruled an arson. Wolterman died from injuries he sustained battling the Dec. 28, 2015, blaze.

Parker and his wife, Bertha, submitted insurance claims for the burned home to Cincinnati Insurance Company of Fairfield, but they declined to cooperate with the process when the company notified the couple that it was “exercising its right under the policy to conduct an examination under oath,” according to court documents obtained by the Journal-News.

In July, Butler County Common Pleas Judge Jennifer McElfresh signed a judgment in favor of Cincinnati Insurance Company, relieving it from paying out any coverage or indemnity to the Parkers for the house at 1310 Pater Ave.

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