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Man says he didn't set fire that led to firefighter's death

Prosecutors said Lester Parker solicited his nephew to set the fire to collect insurance money


Associated Press

HAMILTON, Ohio — An Ohio homeowner charged in a 2015 arson that led to a firefighter's death has testified he did not set fire to his house or hire anyone else to do it.

Lester Parker testified Monday at his trial in southwestern Ohio's Butler County. He and his nephew are charged in the fire that resulted in the death of Hamilton firefighter Patrick Wolterman. The firefighter fell through a floor of the burning home.

Firefighters move the casket for Patrick Wolterman into an awaiting fire engine at the Hodapp Funeral Home in Cincinnati. (Cameron Knight/The Cincinnati Enquirer via AP)
Firefighters move the casket for Patrick Wolterman into an awaiting fire engine at the Hodapp Funeral Home in Cincinnati. (Cameron Knight/The Cincinnati Enquirer via AP)

Prosecutors say Parker solicited nephew William "Billy" Tucker to set the fire to collect insurance money. Parker and Tucker have pleaded not guilty to murder and arson counts.

Wolterman's death was the first of a Hamilton firefighter in the line of duty since 1971.

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