One of the defendants in the 2016 mass murder of an Ohio family is scheduled for court on Monday. The motions hearing of Jake Wagner may last two days. Court is set to begin at 9 a.m. ET.
The April, 22 2016 murders of the Rhoden family were, in no uncertain terms, an execution. Eight victims were found dead in three trailers and a camper. They were identified as 38-year-old Dana Manley Rhoden, 40-year-old Christopher Rhoden Sr., 20-year-old Clarence “Frankie” Rhoden, 19-year-old Hanna May Rhoden, 16-year-old Christopher Rhoden Jr., 44-year-old Kenneth Rhoden, and 38-year-old Gary Rhoden. Clarence’s 20-year-old fiancée Hannah “Hazel” Gilley was also killed.
Autopsy results reportedly showed that all but one of them were shot multiple times in the head.
It took over two years for authorities to say they had suspects: George Wagner III, wife Angela Wagner, and their sons George Wagner IV and Jake Wagner.
The suspects – a husband, wife, and their two adult sons – are now charged with killing eight people: seven members of the #RhodenFamily and the fiancée of one of the victims. We will release more information later today. #PikeCounty pic.twitter.com/IKf6luYSXQ
— Governor Mike DeWine (@GovMikeDeWine) November 13, 2018
But Hanna Rhoden lives on in a way: through the daughter she had with Jake Wagner. The couple had reportedly broken up months before the murders. A member of the victim family told WLWT in a 2018 report that defendant Jake tried to get his ex to grant parental rights. Wagner sought custody after the deaths.
Angela Wagner’s mother Rita Newcomb and George III’s mother Fredericka Wagner were also charged with allegedly trying to cover up the murders. Newcomb pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of obstruction last December, saying she could not lie anymore. In June 2019, prosecutors dropped charges against Fredericka Wagner, who insisted on her innocence.
[Mugshot of Jake Wagner via Ohio Attorney General’s Office]
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