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 is the first time a person has faced a jury for the deaths of the Rhoden family six years ago.
One of the hearings Monday was one held over a Rule 29 motion; A Rule 29 motion can be filed by defense attorneys after the prosecution rests its case to ask the judge to acquit their client of some or all charges if there is a lack of evidence for the jury to reasonably reach a guilty verdict.
During the hearing, Richard Nash, defense attorney for George, and Angela Canepa, special prosecutor, argued each charge before Deering and whether the state has presented enough evidence throughout the trial for a jury to find George guilty.
Ultimately, the Rule 29 motion was denied for each of the 22 counts George faces, including the eight counts of aggravated murder.
Another hearing was one over venue. Because Dana Rhoden’s home, in which she, Hanna May and Chris Jr. were murdered, is across the Scioto County line, defense attorneys argue charges related to that scene shouldn’t apply to this trial, held in Pike County.
Canepa cited section 2901.12 of the Ohio Revised Code, specifically section H, which states that when an offender commits offenses in different jurisdictions, they can be tried for all offenses in any jurisdiction in which the offenses happened.
“We still maintain our earlier position pretrial that that statute is unconstitutional,” said Parker.
Deering acknowledged Parker’s comment, but ruled in favor of the prosecution that George can be tried for the murders of Dana, Chris Jr. and Hanna May in Pike County, despite the crime scene’s location.
After spending the afternoon arguing off the record and in judge’s chambers, the defense and prosecution declined to do anything further on the record Monday.