GUILTY OH Pike Co., 8 in Rhoden Family Murdered Over Custody Issue, 4 Members Wagner Family Arrested #62

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Becky Starkey

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I think Canepa is sharper and more calculating than we can see and knew from the beginning that dragging it out for 2+ years would get one of them to plea.

I think from the beginning she planned the timeline for maximum effect. I think she gave the Defense Attorneys the Discovery Evidence in the time frame she calculated.

The longer it drags out the more time the Defendant has to sit in a cell staring at 4 walls thinking about the stark reality of getting the DP.

The longer it drags out the more likely to get the Defendant to plea.

When playing the long game don't let the Defendant know that all this time you were holding the Aces. Finally he folds.
Covid played a major role in dragging it so long though. But once that happened, I'm sure she used the time to her advantage.
 

The 13th

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wt

This is JMO, but I think for AW it may have been for money. I have this theory (my own pure speculation) that AW was not going to be provided for financially by the W estate after FW died. I wrote a post a while back about generation skipping trusts, and if anyone really needed one, IMO, FW and her husband really needed one with respect to the unique challenges posed by both Billy and AW.

JMO, I don't see Billy's parents thinking it would be wise to allow Billy to inherit a big chunk of anything. He failed to launch and at a minimum, he was irresponsible. And then there is AW. If they gave Billy a lot, he could die before AW, or she could divorce Billy after he received an inheritance and she could get her hands on FW's assets and blow through it all. When people who have estates (does not even have to be that large of an estate) have concerns like this, they sometimes solve them by providing their adult child with an income from the estate and that income ends when their child dies. If their child's spouse survives their child, not their problem. JMO, I think it might be possible GW4 and JW were going to come into some money, property or both when Billy died and the same may also have been true for the great-grandchildren after their fathers died.

The forged custody docs did two things, at least in AW's mind. They provided custody for JW in the event of HMR's death and they also provided that AW got custody of the children in the event of GW4 or JW's death. Note, they did not provide custody for Billy and AW, just AW. Jake got custody of the child after the murders. Why didn't AW destroy those documents? JMO, I don't think she was sloppy in not destroying those documents, but rather viewed them as "insurance" that she would get custody in the event GW4 and/or JW died. It would work like an annuity, guaranteed income for life, if she could maintain control of both her boys and her grandchildren and groom them to understand it was their job to provide for AW financially.

For JW, I don't think it was about money. I think it was because he lost control of HMR and he wanted to get even with her. JW has had nothing to do but think while he's been in jail and he's been removed from the influence of his mother for a long time. It might be possible he thought AW was on his side as she egged him on, and perhaps he's realized she was only out for herself.

I could be totally off, but this is what makes sense to me. And this is all JMO.

After re-reading Billy's Other Acts notice, I wonder how long Hanna would have lived if she'd gone to Alaska with the Wagners like they were trying to get her to do. How long before she went missing or had an "accident"? I wonder whether anyone thought it would be a good idea that Sophia's mother should have life insurance, just in case of a tragedy.
 

GoBuckeyes

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Yes Caylee Advocate they were way more than that.
Power, control, HR with other guys, HR bringing her daughter around other guys.
HR not letting Jake control her is a huge thing. JMO

Where did we hear this? That Jake was not happy that S was being exposed to other guys and wasn't happy with it? I know this came up just recently.

<modsnip>

Jake has potentially 50 years to sit in prison, most of the time maximum security,
to contemplate how he is fine now because 2 1/2 years after he destroyed lives he then found God.

Look his photo up in a few years, the DOC (Department of Corrections)
takes photos every few years for an update, and you will see how he looks not young and mild anymore but very hardened - completely different.

Right now he looks like anyone's mild mannered son on his way to college, this will change, it will be a startlingly change, it will show his true self.

I have seen this.

It's not finding God, it's finding out the evidence against him is overwhelming, enough to get him on death row.

JMO, Jake's conversion or lack of is between him and God. No one really knows his heart. I'd like to think that profession of faith was real. But I realize that sometimes the incarcerated use that to serve their own purposes. AMOO
 

Cool Cats

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JMO, Jake's conversion or lack of is between him and God. No one really knows his heart. I'd like to think that profession of faith was real. But I realize that sometimes the incarcerated use that to serve their own purposes. AMOO

Can't discuss religion but since it was actually brought up in court and in an interview we can make a comment about that specifically.

I find it interesting that both George and Jake want the public to know they are religious, George's attorney said in open court that George wanted solitary confinement so he can read the Bible.

I am sure his attorney knew it's not up to the court it's up to the jail which is what Judge Deering told him. I think George wanted it mentioned for the public to hear.
It's a very private thing and no attorney would mention it without the client's consent.

Fred did the same in interviews, announced that George is religious and Jake was religious. Maybe was is just a figure of speech.

I wonder why it is important to them that the public thinks they are God fearing people? Fred said they are religious so apparently they put religion aside for their conspiracy and then figured they could just go back to it and seek forgiveness.

Right, can't read his mind but still think it is too much of a coincidence that he happens to "find God" right at the same time he does his plea. How convenient.

Where was his religion when he was telling reporters that they should stop pursuing his family and "find the monsters who really did this?"

LE: "All the lies they told us"

Incomprehensible...2 Cents
 
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ohioexpat63

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When you are alone, isolated from family and living in a noisy, smelly and vulgar cesspool, I imagine some find comfort anyway they can imagine, to include some form of faith. Living with yourself for the carnage you caused, without any support for fear of being sold out, must be maddening.
MOO
 

Fat Old Man

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Can't discuss religion but since it was actually brought up in court and in an interview we can make a comment about that specifically.

I find it interesting that both George and Jake want the public to know they are religious, George's attorney said in open court that George wanted solitary confinement so he can read the Bible.

I am sure his attorney knew it's not up to the court it's up to the jail which is what Judge Deering told him. I think George wanted it mentioned for the public to hear.
It's a very private thing and no attorney would mention it without the client's consent.

Fred did the same in interviews, announced that George is religious and Jake was religious. Maybe was is just a figure of speech.

I wonder why it is important to them that the public thinks they are God fearing people? Fred said they are religious so apparently they put religion aside for their conspiracy and then figured they could just go back to it and seek forgiveness.

Right, can't read his mind but still think it is too much of a coincidence that he happens to "find God" right at the same time he does his plea. How convenient.

Where was his religion when he was telling reporters that they should stop pursuing his family and "find the monsters who really did this?"

LE: "All the lies they told us"

Incomprehensible...2 Cents

But lets not forget, FW runs the church. <modsnip> The Wagner family, seems to march, to a different drum beat. JMO
 
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Betty P

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After re-reading Billy's Other Acts notice, I wonder how long Hanna would have lived if she'd gone to Alaska with the Wagners like they were trying to get her to do. How long before she went missing or had an "accident"? I wonder whether anyone thought it would be a good idea that Sophia's mother should have life insurance, just in case of a tragedy.

Hanna's parents probably would have prevented her going to Alaska with the W's. Because Jake had already been physically and psychologically abusing her, her parents stepped in. She broke up with JW and moved back home. Her parents talked her into finishing high school and starting studies at nursing school.

In retrospect, it was Chris and Dana Rhoden's intervention to protect their daughter from the Wagners that set in motion the massacre plans. It certainly wasn't their fault.
 

GoBuckeyes

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Can't discuss religion but since it was actually brought up in court and in an interview we can make a comment about that specifically.

I find it interesting that both George and Jake want the public to know they are religious, George's attorney said in open court that George wanted solitary confinement so he can read the Bible.

I am sure his attorney knew it's not up to the court it's up to the jail which is what Judge Deering told him. I think George wanted it mentioned for the public to hear.
It's a very private thing and no attorney would mention it without the client's consent.

Fred did the same in interviews, announced that George is religious and Jake was religious. Maybe was is just a figure of speech.

I wonder why it is important to them that the public thinks they are God fearing people? Fred said they are religious so apparently they put religion aside for their conspiracy and then figured they could just go back to it and seek forgiveness.

Right, can't read his mind but still think it is too much of a coincidence that he happens to "find God" right at the same time he does his plea. How convenient.

Where was his religion when he was telling reporters that they should stop pursuing his family and "find the monsters who really did this?"

LE: "All the lies they told us"

Incomprehensible...2 Cents

You very well may be spot on about the convenience and the timing. Might be wishful thinking that 1 of the 4 should feel genuine remorse. :(
 

Cool Cats

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You very well may be spot on about the convenience and the timing. Might be wishful thinking that 1 of the 4 should feel genuine remorse. :(

Yup, timing is everything.

I think the true catalyst was when he finally realized that there was evidence beyond a reasonable doubt of his guilt.

When he believed this it wasn't a big jump to believe that a person who kills 8 people will be sentenced to death.

Seems like this is a good time to go seeking and "find" God.
 
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Chelly

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I'm trying to wrap my mind around the "strategy theory" and need help, please.

Do defense lawyers take an oath to act in the best interest of their clients? With the speedy trial scheduled for September 4, 2019, George had a pretty good change of being found not guilty. The prosecution hadn't enough time to put together a stellar case against him. They were still collecting evidence, right? Thus, the speedy trial would be in the best interest of George.

But, George's attorney convinced George to waive a speedy trial. If George's attorney was strategizing with the prosecution, wasn't he colluding against George instead of representing him?
 

ohioexpat63

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I'd say the prosecutors had enough evidence to convict at the time.of the arrests. Of course, they now have a sealed deal with the confession, weapons, vehicles, etc...

I don't think AC would collude with anyone. She didnt need help from the defense to obtain a conviction. JMO
 

Cool Cats

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Very interesting, as an aside, AC was the State's attorney in charge of that case March 2020 when Michael Mearan's home was raided.

Former Portsmouth city councilman Michael Mearan detained by police; home raided

JMO, MOO

She was also the Special Prosecutor on a very high profile case and is mentioned in some of the articles:

Steubenville High School Rape Case

The Steubenville High School rape occurred in Steubenville, Ohio on the night of August 11, 2012, when a high school girl, incapacitated by alcohol, was publicly and repeatedly sexually assaulted by her peers, several of whom documented the acts on social media.

The victim was transported, undressed, photographed, and sexually assaulted. She was also @ # $ % & # % @ an act defined as rape under Ohio law.
 

Cool Cats

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I'm trying to wrap my mind around the "strategy theory" and need help, please.

Do defense lawyers take an oath to act in the best interest of their clients? With the speedy trial scheduled for September 4, 2019, George had a pretty good change of being found not guilty. The prosecution hadn't enough time to put together a stellar case against him. They were still collecting evidence, right? Thus, the speedy trial would be in the best interest of George.

But, George's attorney convinced George to waive a speedy trial. If George's attorney was strategizing with the prosecution, wasn't he colluding against George instead of representing him?

The defense and prosecution don't strategize together, the defense files motions to get the evidence and the prosecution complies however they want, meaning they can dole it out over time - even some of it close to trial - or turn it over sooner.

I think Canepa's strategy was to draw out the whole process because the longer the defendant sits in jail the longer he has to think about getting the DP off his case with a plea agreement.

The defense attorneys did not have to let it draw out so long, there are things they can do such as the Motion George's attorney filed:

03/26/2021 MOTION NO. 67 DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO EXCLUDE EVIDENCE (DISCOVERY VIOLATION) FILED (ORIGINAL)

So why did the defense let it all drag out? Because they want their Wagner
client to take a plea deal.

The standard of evidence showing probable cause is much higher when there are death penalty specifications, this is why the Wagner Case took 2 1/2 years to get indictments, there had to be more compelling evidence than a "regular" murder case.

Canepa said "There was no rush to judgement" and LE said they tracked down every lead no matter how small.

Thus the defense attorneys all know the Wagners are guilty, they knew from day one. Their objective is to get the Wagner to take a plea deal, keep the Wagner off of death row. This is the job they are paid to do.

Did the defense and prosecution collude and strategize together?
No.
Did they both know that the result would be better if the whole thing dragged out? Yes.

Prosecution = Justice for the Rhoden and Gilley and Manley families, the result the families want.

Defense = Keep (G3, G4, J, A) Wagner off of death row, convince (G3, G4, J, A) Wagner to sign a plea agreement.

[PDF]
Does the Threat of the Death Penalty Affect Plea ...
https://scholar.princeton.edu/.../death_penalty_0.pdf

[PDF]
A Beyond a Reasonable Doubt Standard in Death …
https://scholarlycommons.pacific.edu/cgi/view...
The primary avenue of challenge to death penalty statutes on burdens of proof and standards of proof will have to be through state constitutional provisions...
 
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BuckeyeGal

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I'm trying to wrap my mind around the "strategy theory" and need help, please.

Do defense lawyers take an oath to act in the best interest of their clients? With the speedy trial scheduled for September 4, 2019, George had a pretty good change of being found not guilty. The prosecution hadn't enough time to put together a stellar case against him. They were still collecting evidence, right? Thus, the speedy trial would be in the best interest of George.

But, George's attorney convinced George to waive a speedy trial. If George's attorney was strategizing with the prosecution, wasn't he colluding against George instead of representing him?
I don't think that George had much of a chance going to trial earlier. I think LE had almost as much evidence then as they do now. Plus, if one of the other 4 Ws were tried and found guilty, George could use that as his defense ("See-it was all Jake or Mom who did this, not me")
MOO
 

molly1255

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I'd say the prosecutors had enough evidence to convict at the time.of the arrests. Of course, they now have a sealed deal with the confession, weapons, vehicles, etc...

I don't think AC would collude with anyone. She didnt need help from the defense to obtain a conviction. JMO

As the case drug on, I seem to recall the DeWine promised everyone there would be no arrests until he felt they could ensure a successful conviction in court. This is not an exact quote, but what I recall. I also don't think AC would collude with anyone.

It will be interesting to learn how the plea bargain process began with JW. In the Chris Watts case, his public defender approached the D.A. with an offer to plea (DP was on the table). The prosecutor then flew out to meet with the maternal family of the victims and laid it out for them and asked them if they wanted to go to trial and pursue the DP or take the plea. The family chose to accept the plea.

It was interesting to learn this and I thought the D.A. did the right thing by the close family members of the victims. He didn't want to make the decision himself, and he was very transparent with the family, advising them that while at that time Colorado did have the DP, the odds of ever carrying it out were very, very slim. The victims and family members of the victims got justice, and the family members were spared the horrors of a trial. Similar to this case, the family members had been through the unimaginable.

All JMO
 

molly1255

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I don't think that George had much of a chance going to trial earlier. I think LE had almost as much evidence then as they do now. Plus, if one of the other 4 Ws were tried and found guilty, George could use that as his defense ("See-it was all Jake or Mom who did this, not me")
MOO

I think the only ghost of a chance GW may and that is "may" have had earlier was trying to blame the others. Now he is really skunked. JMO.
 
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