My notes from today's presser 11/13/2018:
Yesterday, the Grand Jury indicted four suspects on aggravated murder with death penalty specifications.
George Billy Wagner III
George Wagner IV
Edward J. Wagner
These arrests are the result of an extensive joint investigation into the murder of eight family members by the AG’s office, the FBI, and Pike County Sheriff's Office.
Christopher Rhoden Sr., 40
Dana Manley Rhoden, 37
Hanna Mae Rhoden, 19
Christopher Rhoden Jr, 16
Clarence “Frankie” Rhoden, 20
Hannah Hazel Gilley, 20
Kenneth Rhoden, 44
Gary Rhoden, 38
The evidence will show that the four suspects meticulously planned these murders. They conspired together to kill these 8 people. All four suspects have been charged with eight counts of aggravated murder each (one for each victim) with death penalty specifications.
He won’t be able to say much about motive due to the open prosecution but will say that custody plays a role. He believes the evidence will show that the Wagners came up with an elaborate plan to kill these eight victims in the cover of darkness and made elaborate plans to cover up the murders. The evidence will show that the suspects spent months planning these crimes. They studied their habits and routines. They knew the layouts of their homes. The suspects tampered with evidence--their phones and the surveillance cameras on their properties.
They have been gathering evidence for two and a half years. On July 2018, a judge and an investigative grand jury met weekly to go over evidence and to come up with ways to discover new evidence. The last piece of significant physical evidence was discovered on October 30, 2018 and the analysis of that evidence was completed just a few days later, on Nov 7th. This last piece of evidence, along with all of the other evidence they’ve collected since the murders, is what led them to today’s charges and arrests.
The suspects have also been charged with a number of other other offenses: conspiracy, engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, aggravated burglary, tampering with evidence, unlawful possession of a dangerous ordinance, unauthorized use of property, interception of wire, oral, or electronic communications, and obstruction of justice. All four suspects have also been charged with forgery for allegedly forging child custody documents. Two other individuals have also been arrested in conjunction with the coverup of these crimes, and they are the parents of two of the Wagners -- Rita Newcomb and Fredericka Wagner. These two arrests are related to an attempt to mislead authorities.
Also, from this article... Pike County: Wagner family arrested in the Rhoden family massacre
"They did this quickly, coldly, calmly and very carefully – but not carefully enough," said. Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader. Prosecutors allege Angela Wagner purchased several items in the months leading up to the deaths of the Rhoden family and Hannah Gilley.
"...specific shoes from Walmart, 'brass catcher(s),' items with which to build 'brass catchers,' ammunition, a magazine clip, a 'bug' detector, and or items with which to build a 'silencer(s),' and/or various other items in preparation for these crimes," the indictment states.
Brass catchers are used to collect discharged bullet casings.