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Hamilton Homeowner Indicted For Fire Fighter Wolterman's Death


A Butler County homeowner is under arrest for a fire last year that led to the death of Hamilton Fire Fighter Patrick Wolterman. Authorities say they have "overwhelming evidence" Lester Parker is to blame.

Wolterman died after falling through a floor into the basement of a burning house Dec. 28, 2015.

Hamilton Police Chief Craig Bucheit says Lester Parker is charged with aggravated arson and murder.

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"It's still, a year on, a very active investigation," he says. "I'm confident this won't be the last arrest."

Bucheit won't comment on a possible motive. The homeowners were originally thought to be out of town at the time of the fire.

"Again, that's part of the investigation and I think those are the details that we plan to present at trial. There's an overwhelming amount of evidence and it's a very complex investigation. We look forward to presenting that and clearing that up at trial."

Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser says he will try the case along with First Assistant Prosecutor David Kash.

If convicted, the murder charge carries a possible sentence of 15 years to life in prison. Aggravated arson carries a maximum of eleven years.

Senior Editor and reporter at WVXU with more than 20 years experience in public radio; formerly news and public affairs producer with WMUB. Would really like to meet your dog.