Pike County murders: Father of victim angry with investigators

The man whose daughter was one of eight victims in the Pike County murders a year ago and whose son now is the only person charged with anything connected to the investigation says police are “grasping at straws.”

Leonard Manley today spoke to this news organization outside the courtroom where his son James Manley, 40, was awaiting an initial hearing on charges that resulted from removing a GPS tracker state investigators placed on his truck to follow his movements.

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James Manley is not charged in the shooting deaths from April 22, 2016, nor is anyone else.

Instead, he is charged with felony counts of vandalism and tampering with evidence. His father said his son discovered the state’s tracking device, removed it from his truck and destroyed it.

“If that put something like that on my friggin’ truck, so help me God, I’ll break it in front of them,” Leonard Manley said.

Leonard Manley lost his daughter and three grandchildren in the mass murders of Rhoden and Gilley family members at four sites in rural Pike County.

“Every friggin’ day someone is tearing the scabs off us,” Leonard Manley said of how his family is coping with the killings and the subsequent investigation.

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He said several members of the family have been taken in for polygraph examinations, some multiple times, and some of the tests were administered in Dayton.

“One way or another, it’s gonna be stopped. If have to put harassment charges against everyone,” Leonard Manley said. “One lie detector test should be plenty, instead of two or three.”

He said the family had cooperated.

“We bent over backwards. I give them DNA, I give them my phone so they could go through it. I mean, I’ve answered their stupid questions,” Leonard Manley said.

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One example: investigators asked why he was dressed in black.

“They just won’t quit,” he said.

“I just told the prosecutor, the next time they come to my house, they’d better have a warrant,” he said.

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