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Published: Thursday, 10/6/2011 - Updated: 3 years ago

Insanity plea entered in fire station attacks

Evaluation slated for Wolever's son

Former Toledo Fire Chief Mike Wolever, left, talks to his son's attorney, George Gerken, after Wednesday's hearing. Former Toledo Fire Chief Mike Wolever, left, talks to his son's attorney, George Gerken, after Wednesday's hearing.
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Standing beside his attorney and with his father -- former Toledo Fire Chief Mike Wolever -- in the gallery behind him, Kevin Wolever appeared yesterday in a Lucas County Common Pleas courtroom where he faced charges for a series of attacks on fire stations.

Kevin Wolever's attorney, George Gerken, filed a written plea of not guilty by reason of insanity earlier in the day. During his hearing, Mr. Wolever, 32, was referred to the Court Diagnostic and Treatment Center for an evaluation based on that plea. Judge Linda Jennings also set a Nov. 10 hearing date.

Mr. Wolever of 801 Nevada St. was charged earlier this week with two counts of improperly discharging a firearm into a habitation and one count each of aggravated arson and felonious assault, for three incidents. Three of the charges had gun specifications, including one five-year specification for shooting out of a motor vehicle. If convicted, Mr. Wolever faces up to 48 years in prison.

Mr. Gerken did not return calls seeking comment after the hearing.

The court appearance occurred one day after Mr. Wolever was dismissed from his job as a city fire inspector. According to his termination letter, Mr. Wolever was fired after he failed to appear at a hearing the day before.

Mr. Wolever has been in custody since Sept. 24, when he was charged with shooting at a fire station. He remains in custody in the Lucas County jail in lieu of $300,000 bond.

Kevin Wolever, 32, is charged in attacks on Toledo fire stations. Kevin Wolever, 32, is charged in attacks on Toledo fire stations.
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According to the indictment, Mr. Wolever is charged with a shooting that night in which an on-duty firefighter was struck, but not injured, by a ricocheting bullet. The incident occurred about 10:20 p.m. at Station 6 at 642 Starr Ave.

The same station was shot at for a first time on Sept. 21. In that incident, Mr. Wolever is charged with two gun specifications, including that he was allegedly shooting from a vehicle at the time.

Mr. Wolever is also charged with aggravated arson for allegedly leaving an incendiary device outside Station 18 at 5221 Lewis Ave. on Sept. 22.

At the time of the alleged incidents, Mr. Wolever was on paid leave from his job -- at which he was paid just over $38,400 in 2010 -- for conduct that included failing to show up at work because he went to a strip club or had gone home to take a nap, according to written reprimands from his superiors.

Mr. Wolever was hired Aug. 15, 2008, while his father was the city's fire chief. The former fire chief was unavailable for comment after the hearing and has not responded to numerous attempts by The Blade to reach him.

Under Ohio law, a person is not guilty by reason of insanity "only if the person proves … that at the time of the commission of the offense, the person did not know, as a result of a severe mental disease or defect, the wrongfulness of the person's acts."

Contact Erica Blake at: eblake@theblade.com or 419-213-2134.

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