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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.

Tana Weingartner earned a bachelor's degree in communication from the University of Cincinnati and a master's degree in mass communication from Miami University. Prior to joining Cincinnati Public Radio, she served as news and public affairs producer with WMUB-FM. Ms. Weingartner has earned numerous awards for her reporting, including several Best Reporter awards from the Associated Press and the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists, and a regional Murrow Award. She enjoys snow skiing, soccer and dogs.