Jury: 2 men guilty of arson, murder in death of Hamilton firefighter

Jury: 2 men guilty of arson, murder in death of Hamilton firefighter
Hamilton Firefighter Patrick Wolterman (Provided by the Ohio Association of Professional Firefighters)
Lester Parker and William Tucker (FOX19 NOW)
Lester Parker and William Tucker (FOX19 NOW)

HAMILTON, OH (FOX19) - A homeowner and his nephew were found guilty Wednesday of aggravated arson and murder in the death of a 28-year-old Hamilton firefighter.

Lester Parker, 66, and William Tucker, 49, of Richmond, Kentucky, face 15 years to life in prison when they are sentenced.

The jury reached the verdict shortly after resuming deliberations about 9 a.m. Tuesday.

Investigators linked Parker and Tucker to the Dec. 28, 2015, blaze that resulted in the death of Patrick Wolterman.

Prosecutors accused Parker of soliciting his nephew to set the blaze in exchange for pills. Prosecutors claimed Parker wanted money from the home's insurance policy.

Closing arguments were made Tuesday after a week of testimony.  The jury got the case late Tuesday afternoon and deliberated for about an hour before stopping for the night.

Wolterman fell through the first floor into the basement of Parker's Pater Avenue home as he checked initial reports people may be inside.

The 2005 Roger Bacon High School graduate was a well-liked, hard-working firefighter, the first to die in the line of duty in Hamilton since 1971.

In the months before his death, he married the love of his life, Bre.

A tripped burglar alarm first led police to the home.

Fire crews were called shortly after for heavy smoke exiting three sides of the structure.

Several days after the fire, authorities ruled arson as the cause and announced a task force devoted to finding the suspected arsonist.

Both Parker and Tucker have pleaded not guilty.

They denied the allegations when they testified in their own defense earlier this week.

Relatives who testified to the contrary, they said, were lying.

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