Rhoden family massacre 2016; Pike County, OH *GUILTY*

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Eight members of one family, the Rhodens, were killed in their Piketon, Ohio homes in April of 2016. All but one were found shot in the heads in their trailers. Their bodies were discovered by other family members.
 
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George “Billy” Wagner III, 49, Angela Wagner, 50, George Wagner IV, 29, and Edward “Jake” Wagner, 27, all were taken into custody on aggravated murder charges with the possibility for the death penalty.
Jake is also charged with unlawful sexual conduct with a minor for having sexual contact with Hanna Mae Rhoden when she was 15 and he was 20 years old.
They’ve made multiple court appearances in the Pike County Courthouse in the now more than two years since their arrests as the case progresses very slowly toward their trials.

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“After extensive joint investigation – these individuals are now in custody for committing these heartless, ruthless cold blooded murders,” DeWine said the day the Wagners’ indictments and arrests were announced.
“Many were killed as they slept. All eight victims were killed in cold blood. They were brutally and viciously executed.”

All of the Rhodens were shot in the head -- most several times in three mobile homes on Union Hill Road and at another home a few miles away, according to autopsy records released in September.
Christopher Rhoden was among the first killed and was awake when he was confronted by at least one person with a gun, the reports showed.
He was shot a total of 9 times, and at least one bullet went through a door before hitting him, according to reports.
Three children were at two of the trailers during the killings, but they were spared.
  • Brentley Rhoden 4: His father was Clarence “Frankie” Rhoden
  • Brentley’s half-brother, Ruger Lee, who was 6 months old. Ruger’s parents were Frankie Rhoden and Hannah Gilley. The couple was engaged to be married.
  • Kyle Mae, 5 days old: She was the newborn daughter of Hanna Mae Rhoden and was found next to her dead mother.
Billy’s mother Fredericka Wagner, and Angela’s mother, Rita Newcomb, also were charged with obstruction of justice and perjury.

 
Jake Wagner pleaded guilty Thursday to eight counts of aggravated murder. He changed his plea from not guilty five years to the day that eight people were murdered in Pike County.

The prosecution will withdraw the death penalty. As part of the plea, the state is recommending eight consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole for the murders. There's also another 160 years on other charges and gun specifications.

The judge asked him if he understands that he'll spend the rest of his life in prison and re replied that he did.

Jake Wagner and his brother, George, along with their parents, Billy and Angela, were all accused of killing seven members of the Rhoden family and Hannah Gilley in 2016.
 
Investigators combed through 1,100 tips, but the final piece of evidence that led to the indictments of the Wagner family and their arrests on Halloween were due to the finding of the gun silencer, according to then-Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine.

 
Jake Wagner pleaded guilty Thursday to eight counts of aggravated murder. He changed his plea from not guilty five years to the day that eight people were murdered in Pike County.

The prosecution will withdraw the death penalty. As part of the plea, the state is recommending eight consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole for the murders. There's also another 160 years on other charges and gun specifications.

The judge asked him if he understands that he'll spend the rest of his life in prison and re replied that he did.

Jake Wagner and his brother, George, along with their parents, Billy and Angela, were all accused of killing seven members of the Rhoden family and Hannah Gilley in 2016.
One down.
 
Jake Wagner pleaded guilty Thursday to eight counts of aggravated murder. He changed his plea from not guilty five years to the day that eight people were murdered in Pike County.

The prosecution will withdraw the death penalty. As part of the plea, the state is recommending eight consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole for the murders. There's also another 160 years on other charges and gun specifications.

The judge asked him if he understands that he'll spend the rest of his life in prison and re replied that he did.

Jake Wagner and his brother, George, along with their parents, Billy and Angela, were all accused of killing seven members of the Rhoden family and Hannah Gilley in 2016.

You know something I've been wondering about. Motivation. I wonder if he chose to plead guilty and avoid the DP on the off chance his daughter would start to visit him when she turns 18 years from now. Opinions?
 
You know something I've been wondering about. Motivation. I wonder if he chose to plead guilty and avoid the DP on the off chance his daughter would start to visit him when she turns 18 years from now. Opinions?
I have no idea, but now that you've asked, I wonder, too!
 
You know something I've been wondering about. Motivation. I wonder if he chose to plead guilty and avoid the DP on the off chance his daughter would start to visit him when she turns 18 years from now. Opinions?
Great question!

Jake & Hannah's daughter, now 7, will have 11 more years before that thought presents itself. She is now being cared for by extended Rhoden family hopefully in a nurturing environment that will allow her to create her own future & become as well adjusted as possible given the circumstances. To answer honestly, I think since Jake's trial was scheduled first it gave him an incentive to speak now and he essentially agreed to save his immediate family from the death penalty.

If their daughter does choose to see him when she turns 18 will be up to her however I don't think his plea was to increase those odds. All just my opinion.

 
*(personal observation .. the defendant was escorted into the courtroom by 4 US Marshalls)

Angela Wagner has agreed to the terms of the plea agreement in open court and changed her plea to guilty in charges 9-22 of the indictment.

The plea means Angela Wagner will have the 8 aggravated murder charges dismissed.

 
Angela Wagner just accepted a 30 year w/o parole plea deal. I guess now she testifies against her older son and husband.


I watched the hearing in it's entirety & after listening to the reading of the charges, she was present when all 8 victims were murdered however she wasn't the principal. IMO, she shouldn't get any plea deal as she was as much involved as her husband, sons, mother & mother in law. MOO
 
I watched the hearing in it's entirety & after listening to the reading of the charges, she was present when all 8 victims were murdered however she wasn't the principal. IMO, she shouldn't get any plea deal as she was as much involved as her husband, sons, mother & mother in law. MOO
People are mad about the plea deal. However, she will be 80. They wouldn’t have given her the death penalty. At 80, if she is even still alive, where is she going to go?
 

Judge allows brother to testify against brother in Rhoden family murders​

An Ohio man who has admitted to killing five members from a single family will be allowed to testify at the death penalty trial of his brother, who is charged in the same crime, according to a judge’s ruling Tuesday.

George Wagner IV, his parents and his brother, Jake Wagner, were charged in the 2016 fatal shootings of the Rhoden family near Piketon in southern Ohio. Authorities say the shootings of seven adults and a teenage boy stemmed from a dispute over custody of a child that Jake Wagner had with one of the victims.

Jake Wagner pleaded guilty last year in the shootings, admitting to killing five of the victims as part of a plea deal with prosecutors that spared him from being sentenced to death. Wagner’s mother, Angela Wagner, also pleaded guilty to helping plan the slayings.

John Parker, a lawyer representing George Wagner, argued Tuesday that the deal Jake Wagner struck with prosecutors limits his ability to conduct a thorough cross examination. Parker has said that Jake Wagner told prosecutors that his brother didn’t shoot anyone.

Jake Wagner isn’t in a position to testify truthfully because he faces the death penalty if he doesn’t strictly obey the terms of his plea deal, Parker said. “Our right to confrontation is more or less meaningless because he’s got a script he has to follow,” he said.

Special prosecutor Andrew Wilson argued that there’s nothing unusual about Jake Wagner’s plea deal, and added that his testimony will be bolstered by other evidence implicating George Wagner.

Pike County Judge Randy Deering, without comment, denied Parker’s request to keep Jake Wagner and his mother from testifying. Deering also denied a request from George Wagner’s attorneys to drop charges that involve crimes committed outside Pike County.
 
Angela Wagner just accepted a 30 year w/o parole plea deal. I guess now she testifies against her older son and husband.


I thought husband and wife couldn't testify against each other. A subject that came up with Misty Crosley. The dad marrying her after his daughter went missing on her watch.
 
I thought husband and wife couldn't testify against each other. A subject that came up with Misty Crosley. The dad marrying her after his daughter went missing on her watch.
It was part of the plea deal. I believe if there wasn't a deal in place she couldn't be forced to testify against her husband.
 

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