OH - Pike Co - 8 in Rhoden Family Murdered - 4 Wagner Family Members Arrested #87

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tlcya

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PIKE COUNTY, Ohio —

A town woke up one morning to the horror that eight people were brutally killed. The Rhoden family suffered an unthinkable loss eight times over on one late April night in 2016. And years would go by before an arrest was made, and the massacre of an entire family still haunts Pike County, Ohio to this day. On April 22, 2021 Edward Jake Wagner pleads guilty and agrees to testify against family members.

PRESSER: APRIL 27, 2016

Video Interview with Attorney General DeWine Published 8-13-16


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Update to Judge’s Order 10/11/22:
ames Pilcher

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Starting new thread for testimony in Wagner murder trial in Pike County. Also just learned appeals court ruled in media's favor allowing us to photograph and video any exhibit or evidence shown in court. It's up to us whether to publish or broadcast. Thanks
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Recap for

Wednesday, November 30th:
*Trial continues (Day 48)-VERDICT REACHED! (Day 1) (@ 8:30am ET) - OH - Pike County 8 people dead: Christopher Rhoden, Sr. (40), his ex-wife, Dana Manley Rhoden (37), their three children, Clarence "Frankie" Rhoden (20), Christopher Jr. (16), Hanna Mae (19); Frankie's fiancée, Hannah Hazel Gilley (20), Christopher Rhoden Sr.'s brother, Kenneth Rhoden (44), & a cousin, Gary Rhoden (37). Hanna Rhoden's baby girl (5 days old), another baby (6 mos.) & a young child (3) were unharmed. (April 21-22, 2016, Pebbles) – for *George Washington Wagner IV (27/now 31) (Jakes’ bro) indicted (11/12/18), arrested (11/13/18), charged (11/15/18) & arraigned (11/28/18) with 8 counts aggravated murder, (plus gun specifications on each), 1 count of 1st degree conspiracy, 4 counts of 1st degree aggravated burglary, 1 count of 5th degree unlawful possession of dangerous ordnance, 3 counts of 3rd degree evidence tampering, 1 count of 5th degree forgery, 1 count of 5th degree unauthorized use of computer or telecommunications, 1 count of 4th degree interception of wire, oral or electronic communication, 1 count of 5th degree obstructing justice, & 1 count of 1st degree engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity. Plead not guilty. Held without bond. DA will seek the DP. Per Jake’s plea agreement, DP is off the table only for Jake if his testimony is truthful. But George still faces the DP as he did not take a deal. DP dropped by Judge on 11/22/22.
Trial began on 8/29/22 with final jury selection & the jury was seated on 8/30/22. 12 Jurors & 6 alternates. Jury: (9 women & 3 men) & 6 alternates: (5 women & 1 man). 9/30/22: Ill juror replaced with alternate. 12 jurors & 5 alternates. Jury: (9 women & 3 men) & 5 alternates (4 women & 1 man). A few are in their late 20s or 30s, but most are in their 40s or 50s.
Trial began with opening statements on Monday, 9/12/22 & ended on 11/18/22. State rested their case on 11/18/22. Defense rested their case 11/18/22. Closing arguments began on 11/28 & ended on 11/29/22. Jury started deliberations on 11/30/22 & reached verdict after 7 1/2 hours of deliberations. Verdict-below.

Crime info & court hearings from 11/28/18 thru 9/6/22 & Trial Day 1-45 (9/12 to 11/18/22) no court/jury on 10/27, 11/4 & 11/11, 11/14 & 11/21 & 11/22/22 & Closing 11/28 to 11/29 reference post #595 here:
https://www.websleuths.com/forums/t...ner-family-members-arrested-86.647353/page-30

11/30/22 Wednesday, Trial Day 48/Deliberations Day 1: Jurors have started deliberations.
For more info see posts #608, 611 to 613 here:
https://www.websleuths.com/forums/t...ner-family-members-arrested-86.647353/page-31
For more info see posts #625 & 632 here:
https://www.websleuths.com/forums/t...ner-family-members-arrested-86.647353/page-32
Request from jury for transcript of Jake’s testimony. 764 pages. Judge & attorneys now discussing. After Judge Deering explained the concern over the transcript, the jury foreperson told him they didn't need it. So, jury returns to the room to continue deliberations without transcript of Jake's testimony.
For more info see posts #655 & 657 here:
https://www.websleuths.com/forums/t...ner-family-members-arrested-86.647353/page-33
For more info see posts #664 & 668 here:
https://www.websleuths.com/forums/t...ner-family-members-arrested-86.647353/page-34
For more info see posts #690, 692, 696 & 700 here:
https://www.websleuths.com/forums/t...ner-family-members-arrested-86.647353/page-35
For more info see posts #701, 704 & 707 here:
https://www.websleuths.com/forums/t...ner-family-members-arrested-86.647353/page-36
VERDICT REACHED!
For more info see posts #781 & 795 here:
https://www.websleuths.com/forums/t...ner-family-members-arrested-86.647353/page-40
For more info see post #815 here:
https://www.websleuths.com/forums/t...ner-family-members-arrested-86.647353/page-41
For more info see posts #824, 833 & 835 here:
https://www.websleuths.com/forums/t...ner-family-members-arrested-86.647353/page-42
For more info see post #864 (video of verdict read) here:
https://www.websleuths.com/forums/t...ner-family-members-arrested-86.647353/page-44
Guilty of aggravated murder for all 8 people, with all 8 gun specifications as indicted
Guilty of conspiracy
Guilty of aggravated burglary (4 counts)
Guilty of aggravated burglary with firearm
Guilty of unlawful dangerous ordinance
Guilty of tampering with evidence (3 counts)
Guilty of forgery
Guilty of unauthorized use of property
Guilty of intercepting communication
Guilty of obstructing justice
Guilty of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity
Judge Deering suggests scheduling sentencing between 12/14/22 & 12/23/22 (the last working day before the Christmas holiday). Pre sentencing memos to be received by 12/14/22.
Deliberations: ~8:30am to ~11:30am (3 hours); ~11:30am to ~4pm (4½ hours). Total: 7½ hours of deliberations. Sentencing date has not been set yet.

Accomplices:
*George Washington Wagner III (47/now 51)Last pretrial hearing on 2/1/22.
*Edward Jacob “Jake” Wagner (26/now 30) – Plead guilty (4/22/21) to all charges & will be sentenced to 8 consecutive life terms without the possibility of parole & will testify in the trials.
*Angela Jo Wagner (48/now 52) – 9/10/21: Plead guilty to a plea deal to Counts 9 thru 22, Counts 1-8 were dismissed. Will be sentenced to 30 years in prison with no early release & has to testify against others at trial. Release date in 2048.
*Rita Jo Newcomb (65/now 69) – Last Motions hearing on 12/2/19 entered a plea of guilty. Expected to testify in the trials.
*Fredericka Carol Wagner (76/now 80) – 6/26/19 Charges were dismissed without prejudice.
 
Just posting the FB link to the prosecutor office conference for those outside the US who cannot access it on the FOX 19 website.

Does anyone have a better video of the family that shows all of the ones who were standing there?
 
I couldn't find another video but this article has a good amount of pictures both from the court and from the conference. I can't copy their photos though, it may be because it is behind a paywall.

 
Have Manley's or Gilley's made any comments, statements?
Leonard was the spokesman for Manleys. I don't see James stepping into spotlight. Nor BJ. That leaves one sister & I don't think we have heard much from her before, if anything. JMO.

I was thinking Hannah's (Gilley) grandfather passed away as well, but I'm not sure on that. I think he did the speaking for them. Does anyone know if he is still alive?
 
I found obituaries for both of HHG's grandfathers. Mr. Shoemaker passed away earlier this year & Mr. Gilley passed away in June of 2018, sadly before the arrests were made. I can't remember which one raised her.


 
Remember when the GPS tracker was on JM's truck and he had that brief court case? BCI said they didn't want to pursue because they didn't want to release some sort of info, evidence maybe.

Anyone have any ideas what that could've been? May be pointless to ponder but I did anyway.

Was something similar said during FW's case? I forget.
 
Is there a court date for Billy?
Not yet. His original date was Oct. 3, 2022, but it was postponed to make room for GW4's trial.
I recall them discussing early next year as a possible date.

Judge Deering retires offically in February and R. Junk will replace him as Common Pleas Court Judge. That will make Junk ineligible to preside over Billy's trial, so they will have to work with the state to come up with an alternative.
 
Remember when the GPS tracker was on JM's truck and he had that brief court case? BCI said they didn't want to pursue because they didn't want to release some sort of info, evidence maybe.

Anyone have any ideas what that could've been? May be pointless to ponder but I did anyway.

Was something similar said during FW's case? I forget.

I've wondered about that, too. Hopefully, they'll discuss some of that later. With Billy's trial coming up, we may not hear any new information for a while.

ETA: I've wondered if some of that event was staged in an attempt to draw out suspects, get them to send texts, etc.
 
I've wondered about that, too. Hopefully, they'll discuss some of that later. With Billy's trial coming up, we may not hear any new information for a while.

ETA: I've wondered if some of that event was staged in an attempt to draw out suspects, get them to send texts, etc.
I don’t have links to back it up..but…believe James (bless him) was drawn into investigation by two things.
1) Being among the first at the murder scenes.
2) As Angela was supposed to be texting from the boy’s phones, she may have inadvertently texted James Manley from Jake’s phone thinking she was texting James Rhoten? NOTE: We never did get confirmation on the alleged text, it was something Leonard mentioned.

The timeline is very close together as to when BCI SA Scheiderer spotted the shell casing at Peterson Rd and the two agents going to Manley’s to remove the tracker from James’s truck (although it had been destroyed) Both of those two things happed almost simultaneously.

Spotting that shell casing was pure luck. Had it happened any other time, had it been a different agent, had Scheiderer parked or stood anywhere else in that driveway, the killers may have never been found, there may have never been arrests, there may have never been confessions or this guilty verdict. Right time, right place. Pure luck put Scheiderer there and that one shell secured the search warrants leading investigators to the shoe receipts, and so on. Simply incredible.
 
Just posting the FB link to the prosecutor office conference for those outside the US who cannot access it on the FOX 19 website.

Thanks for posting this! The one I saw yesterday cut off early so I didn't see the last 10 minutes or so until this one. I know many were annoyed about the repetitive things and the testimony that kept coming up that was only Jake and Angela. I always thought it was to really hammer home how they all operated. Just because George was not smack dab in every conversation, doesn't mean he wasn't there. Just like Billy, he didn't even live in that house, but he was there. I think seeing how they have always operated was key because this wasn't a one time spur of the moment crime they committed. They had a pattern and they really were for lack of a better word "cult". Nobody was able to enter that family and become part of the core group. It was always the 4 of the against the world.

I found it interesting the prosecution said they expected George to testify because the defense wasn't able to refute what was presented any other way. I could see that too. I think the moment they called him was a shock to everyone because it seemed there were not going to be witnesses that day, but then they called him. So I think that was the surprise. Look at who the defense subpoenaed. Then look at who was called before George. They really were more like character witnesses and not anyone that could refute what was presented. Then their expert I think was a big fail. I would be upset if I were him.. he wasn't given all the evidence or information needed to even make an accurate assessment at Chris Sr house. I don't know if that was on purpose or an oversight, but it sure didn't look good for them. So the only choice they had was George.

Again, this case was not a matter of did George shoot Chris with that SKS or was it Jake. I think those charges were all related to one another also. They didn't need to decide each one individually based on all evidence. I think once they voted on one of the murder charges, then they likely were able to say he was guilty of all charges. So those questioning how it was so quick or if they took it seriously.. I don't think it was a matter of sitting down to hash out all 22 charges.. I mean even the murder charges.. if they thought he was involved, then it's guilty on all 8 and then the conspiracy and burglary, etc.
 
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