A pretrial hearing was scheduled today for both of the Wagner brothers who are suspected, along with their parents, of murdering eight members of another family in Pike County in 2016.
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George Wagner IV and Edward “Jake” Wagner have been charged with planning and carrying out the deaths of eight Rhoden family members on April 22, 2016. George “Billy” Wagner III and Angela Wagner, their parents, were also indicted on multiple charges, including eight counts of aggravated murder in the grisly slayings.
Each count -- for each victim -- carries a death penalty specification.
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Fredericka Wagner, the mother of Billy Wagner, and Rita Newcomb, the mother of Angela Wagner, were indicted for perjury and obstruction of justice.
Jake Wagner additionally is accused of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor. The charge accuses him of engaging in sexual contact with Hanna Rhoden when she was 15. The two share a child, Sophia, who was 2 when her mother was killed.
Investigators have said the Rhodens were murdered in part because of a custody dispute involving the then-2-year-old child.
The six were indicted in the deaths of Christopher Rhoden Sr., 40; Dana Manley Rhoden, 37; Hanna May Rhoden, 19; Christopher Rhoden Jr., 16; Clarence “Frankie” Rhoden, 20; Hannah “Hazel” Gilley, 20; Kenneth Rhoden, 44; and Gary Rhoden, 38.
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“All eight victims were killed in cold blood,” said Gov. Mike DeWine.“Thankfully in their only show of mercy, they spared the three children at the scene.”
George Wagner IV and Edward “Jake” Wagner will appear for separate hearings in Pike County Common Pleas Court.
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