OH - Pike Co - 8 in Rhoden Family Murdered Over Custody Issue - 4 Members Wagner Family Arrested #75

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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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Tiff23fr

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Niner

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Evan Millward
@EvanMillward
PIKE COUNTY TRIAL: BCI agents to testify today in Waverly - @CFranciscoWCPO
@paulweedenWCPO
are there.

George2.jpg

BCI agent Jonathan Jenkins is on the stand to start the day.

Was assigned to special investigations in the southeast corner of Ohio - which includes Pike Co.

"I was involved in that investigation from Day One."

Jenkins.jpg

Jenkins was assigned to Scene 2 - Frankie Rhoden and Hannah Hazel Gilley's trailer.

Responded to Pike Co. "for several months" - first HQ was Piketon PD, then Hatzel Chemical.

Jenkins says eventually he wanted to interview Billy Wagner because he is Sophia's grandpa.

"Being a family member, that's somebody we needed to talk to."

Says it was hard to track him down by phone, at home (Peterson Rd), or at his mom's at the Flying W

Jenkins says he wanted to talk to Billy not only because of family relationship, but because BCI was getting tips and leads about a custody issue re: Sophia his granddaughter.

Jenkins and SA Trout met Billy in a Kroger parking lot - they interviewed him in Trout's Ford Taurus.

Billy sat in front passenger seat, Jenkins sat in rear passenger.

Interview was recorded - is being played for the jury

On recording of first Billy interview - Billy says "Chris was my best friend ... he wasn't no saint, but Chris never hurt nobody."

Says he and Chris were opposites - Chris grew up 'hard,' and Billy didn't.

Billy says "it took ya long enough to come talk to me."

Says rumor that a Rhoden family member did it is "."

"What do you want to know? I'll tell ya."

On the recorded interview, Billy says "this is the crookedest f---in county in the state of Ohio"

Says he worried about his safety by talking.

Billy says he heard that Chris may have been involved with a big drug dealer in Cincinnati.

"It goes against my grain to tell you anything, but I hate that sonofabitch ... I hate f---in' dopeheads."

He's explain a convoluted system of drug trafficking in the area.

Agents ask for who - push for more, Billy says "you don't live around here."

Billy says "I loved Chris. He was my best friend."

Says they always joked about buying a bar, "get drunk on the beach and play with strippers."

Talks about taking care of his dad - "he's worked his *advertiser censored* off his whole life, every bone in his body is broken."

Billy notes all of this because he says his parents have a large trust fund for him.

"That ain't a bunch of f---in' hillbillies do something like that, you'll never convince me. That's some Seal Team 6 ."

Billy again says the rumors that a Rhoden family member did it is BS. He keeps coming back to rumor Chris Sr owed drug money.

I think we've found who Billy said he hated - one of the Latham boys.

"He's an ."

Billy laughs and calls Hanna Rhoden "a brat" - says Chris Sr spoiled her.

But says Jake was "in a f---in daze" when she left. Says it's like he's waiting on her to come back around.

Billy also says "You're looking in the wrong damn direction" in the investigation.

Unclear what direction he wants them to look, though.

Agents aren't getting many words in during this.

Billy drops a Cornbread Mafia reference - he's talking about pill mills in Kentucky and rumors of Chris Sr's involvement.

Billy "Let me tell you something, I ain't no f---in snitch"

Tells the agents not to cause him any aggravation down here.

Billy rails on the fact that the surviving kids are in foster care - notes that Jake thought Hanna's newborn was his but it wasn't.

Billy says "Chris took care of everybody."

Calls Dana "wild" and says their relationship wasn't bad even thought they separated.

Agents ask about Chris saying something about "the storm is coming" and being depressed.

Billy: "He never said that to me." Says Chris had been drinking, something was getting to him.

That first interview with Billy was 1 hour, 43 minutes long.

Court is taking a 15 minute break before proceeding with BCI agent Jenkins.

Defense moved for mistrial because of the BillY Wagner recording. Claiming it wasn't relevant.

Prosecutors say it shows why BCI started looking more at Wagners.

Judge instructs jury to only use the recording to show how investigation continued.



link: https://twitter.com/evanmillward
 

RAISINISBACK

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@joe jones I brought over one of your posts from the closed thread.

I didn't think he was attacking her over her address but the fact she lied when she said on direct, she moved in with Wagners when she was 18 or 19, omitting her first stint their when she was 11 or 12, I always get really cross when state do not bring out evidence or testimony that they must know defense will, she could have saved Tabitha hours of testifying if she had brought out the bizarre way that RW and AW appeared to be trying to set GW and JW up with Tabitha and her sisters, and how inappropriate it was, instead she left it for the defense who then made her out to have lied

AC could have very sympathetically questioned her about sexual abuse and even if she had to concede GW had reasons to keep TC family away from his son it would have meant the defense did not get her to concede that yes GW was right to keep their son away as she too wanted to keep her son from her family,

again with the affairs, AC could have brought them up on direct and allowed Tabitha to explain that we all do stupid things when we are young, again may have had to concede as she did on cross that she gave her phones and passwords willingly to GW to show him she was committed to their marriage and wouldn't cheat anymore, but she left it to defense who were then able to attack her character by making her admit to being unfaithful and with whom,

AC could have completely taken away much of that cross of TC if she had brought out on direct the things the defense would have used to attack TC with
Or she could have not called her at all. Tabitha did not testify to anything that could be remotely called evidence to put George at the crime scenes. Neither did Samantha. AC would have been much better off leaving these two sitting at home. But she is so busy trying to prove what an enmeshed family the W's are because that is the only motive she can find for George to even be involved. AC has said over and over one for all, all for one. She is trying too hard to prove that statement because all she has placing George at the scene is Jake. Angie can't place him there, her proffer says she stayed home. Even if she says George was with them when they left his attorneys are going say George got into an argument with Billy or Jake and made them let him out to walk home or to FWF. If Angie swears he was there because she saw him her deal is off and the DP is back on, so get ready to hear about a thousand "objection, hearsay" during her testimony.

Count on them doing the same thing to EW as they did to Tabitha. And probably succeed.

If this is the best AC has and the defense knows it they are going to go after Jake hard. The problem I see is the state did not try to find enough evidence to convict George. They just got too excited and arrested all 4 W's along with FW and Rita. They should have arrested AW, they had evidence on her and JW, they had evidence on him and Rita for perjury. Those three would have brought Billy and George down. but the state lost their chance on George by jumping the gun. They can only try him once and if the jury does not convict he can publish it in the NYT and laugh all the way to his dream life in AK with his son. He might even get custody of SW since he would be her closest relative.

They better wait on Billy's trial until he gets tired of sitting in jail and confesses.

MY opinion. AC has dumped several boatloads of red herrings all over her case against George. And she has called too many witnesses to sling dirt all over Jake and Angie to rehabilitate their credibility with the jury now. Guaranteed the jury HATES both Jake and Angie and it is hard to believe someone you absolutely hate. Ac needs to pull a miracle out of her hat quickly.

JMO
 

rescuemom

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Agent stated this interview was on Sept 9 2016. I don't know if it's been said when the investigators received and started any wires taps, etc. but I'm assuming that on the day of this interview there were none in place yet. If so it would have been interesting to hear who BW called and what was said.

I listened to the whole rambling interview but still don't understand why this was presented today except to indicate how BCI conducted their interviews of anyone. But something put them on the trail of the Ws I must have missed any clue from this interview.
 

justtrish

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@joe jones I brought over one of your posts from the closed thread.


Or she could have not called her at all. Tabitha did not testify to anything that could be remotely called evidence to put George at the crime scenes. Neither did Samantha. AC would have been much better off leaving these two sitting at home. But she is so busy trying to prove what an enmeshed family the W's are because that is the only motive she can find for George to even be involved. AC has said over and over one for all, all for one. She is trying too hard to prove that statement because all she has placing George at the scene is Jake. Angie can't place him there, her proffer says she stayed home. Even if she says George was with them when they left his attorneys are going say George got into an argument with Billy or Jake and made them let him out to walk home or to FWF. If Angie swears he was there because she saw him her deal is off and the DP is back on, so get ready to hear about a thousand "objection, hearsay" during her testimony.

Count on them doing the same thing to EW as they did to Tabitha. And probably succeed.

If this is the best AC has and the defense knows it they are going to go after Jake hard. The problem I see is the state did not try to find enough evidence to convict George. They just got too excited and arrested all 4 W's along with FW and Rita. They should have arrested AW, they had evidence on her and JW, they had evidence on him and Rita for perjury. Those three would have brought Billy and George down. but the state lost their chance on George by jumping the gun. They can only try him once and if the jury does not convict he can publish it in the NYT and laugh all the way to his dream life in AK with his son. He might even get custody of SW since he would be her closest relative.

They better wait on Billy's trial until he gets tired of sitting in jail and confesses.

MY opinion. AC has dumped several boatloads of red herrings all over her case against George. And she has called too many witnesses to sling dirt all over Jake and Angie to rehabilitate their credibility with the jury now. Guaranteed the jury HATES both Jake and Angie and it is hard to believe someone you absolutely hate. Ac needs to pull a miracle out of her hat quickly.

JMO
We have no idea what kind of statements they have on recordings of Jake and George or what was found on the computers yet. It's possible that what is mentioned there corroborates other testimony we have heard already that is not from Jake or Angela. We won't know till the end and I think it will pull together to show the bigger picture. I am choosing to be patient and have faith that they had enough when they arrested them.
 

Chelly

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Hey Raisin. Just the groundwork building a base. Much more showing BW's and GW's guilt is to come. Patience
I am compelled to agree with @RAISINISBACK. AC is waisting too much of the jury's time pointing out the Wagners are a bad family. The jury gets that by now. AC needs to begin focusing on George's involvement.
 

justtrish

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Agent stated this interview was on Sept 9 2016. I don't know if it's been said when the investigators received and started any wires taps, etc. but I'm assuming that on the day of this interview there were none in place yet. If so it would have been interesting to hear who BW called and what was said.

I listened to the whole rambling interview but still don't understand why this was presented today except to indicate how BCI conducted their interviews of anyone. But something put them on the trail of the Ws I must have missed any clue from this interview.
It shows to me that BCI was no investigating the Wagners from day 1. The interview with Billy was nearly 5 months later. So defense trying to say they just focused in on the Wagners and didn't investigate anyone else would be false. BCI in this interview said they wanted to talk to him because they received tips about a fight. He cleared that up and said there wasn't one. But, he continued to ramble. I think most could listen to that one interview and raise an eyebrow at what was said. It shows they followed up on what Billy said and none of the suspects he threw out panned out, but things might have kept pointing right back to the Wagners.

How many cases have we seen the someone else did it theory and LE just picked someone and focused in and didn't check out anything else. This is laying groundwork I think that they didn't do that here and that they went down other paths that all lead back to the Wagners.
 

Betty P

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I am compelled to agree with @RAISINISBACK. AC is waisting too much of the jury's time pointing out the Wagners are a bad family. The jury gets that by now. AC needs to begin focusing on George's involvement.

I trust AC and her team. She's been around the block a few times and has won some cases. She didn't get to be a special prosecutor for the Ohio AG for nothing.

At least one of GW4's attorneys is a corporate trial attorney, they're professional courtroom bulldogs.
 
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