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Watch: Pike County Murders Hearing


One of the defendants in a 2016 mass murder of an Ohio is due in court for a hearing on Tuesday. The proceedings for Edward “Jake” Wagner are scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. ET in Pike County. You can watch the hearing in the player above. The Law&Crime Network’s Angenette Levy will also be there in person, so join us for live coverage.

The sprawling case has almost as many defendants as it does victims. Eight members of the Rhoden family were killed on April 22, 2016, in three trailers and one camper. Autopsy results described particularly brutal methods, with all but one victim sustaining multiple gunshots to the head.

  • Kenneth Rhoden, 44.
  • Christopher Rhoden Sr., 40.
  • Dana Lynn Manley Rhoden, 38.
  • Gary Rhoden, 38.
  • Clarence “Frankie” Rhoden, 20.
  • Clarence’s fiancée Hannah “Hazel” Gilley, 20.
  • Hannah May Rhoden, 19
  • Christopher Rhoden Jr., 16.

Months later, authorities announced the arrests of four people, one of whom had a close connection with Hannah May Rhoden. Jake Wagner, who is the father of her daughter, was arrested for murder with his parents George Wagner III and Angela Wagner, and his brother George Wagner IV. George III’s mother Fredericka Wagner and Angela Wagner’s mother Rita Newcomb were also charged with allegedly participating in a cover up.

It was revealed in a WLWT report Hannah Rhoden and Jake Wagner broke up months before the murders. Mere days after the killings, Wagner filed for custody of the daughter. He formally obtained this on the following June 16.

Newcomb pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of obstruction in December 2019, saying she could not lie anymore. The previous June, prosecutors dropped charges against Fredericka Wagner, who insisted on her innocence.

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