George Wagner IV found guilty of all 22 charges in Pike County murders

Sentencing to happen in December, judge says to courtroom.

After three months of trial, George Washington Wagner IV has been found guilty of the 22 charges against him related to the murders of eight members of the Rhoden family in 2016 in Pike County.

He is guilty on all eight counts of aggravated murder, the trial jury decided and announced Tuesday afternoon.

Common Pleas Court Judge Randy Deering read aloud the verdicts of the charges against Wagner. He is also guilty of aggravated burglary, tampering with evidence, forgery and conspiracy in addition to the murders.

“The court intends to set a sentencing hearing,” Deering said.

He said it would take a couple weeks to organize a sentencing memorandum and wants it done prior to Christmas.

Special Prosecutor Angela Canepa told Deering she would like the opportunity to speak to the jury.

“The court is not permitted to comment on a verdict of the jury,” Deering told jury members. He told them their dedication to duty has been noticed and is appreciated by the court.

“You are now released from the admonition not to discuss this case,” he said just before 5 p.m. Tuesday.

He told them while they may talk about the case, they are not required to do so, and they must decide for themselves.

“You should be careful concerning what you say,” Deering said. He also advised them not to put things in writing unless they believe it is absolutely correct and factual.

Wagner — along with his mother Angela, father George “Billy” Wagner and brother Edward “Jake” Wagner — were accused of shooting and killing the Rhoden family members “execution-style.” The family’s bodies were found on April 22, 2016.

Found dead that day were 40-year-old Christopher Rhoden Sr., 37-year-old Dana Rhoden, 20-year-old Hannah “Hazel” Gilley, 16-year-old Christopher Rhoden Jr., 20-year-old Clarence “Frankie” Rhoden, 37-year-old Gary Rhoden, 19-year-old Hanna May Rhoden, and 44-year-old Kenneth Rhoden.

The trial was the first time a person has faced a jury for the deaths of the Rhoden family six years ago. Billy Wagner will also go to trial for the homicides. Angela and Jake both took plea deals and testified in George Wagner’s trial.

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