Family patriarch Billy Wagner in court for Pike County massacre charges.


CINCINNATI, – The Wagner family patriarch George “Billy” Wagner III is scheduled to appear in court for the third time since he was arrested for the brutal slaying of members of the Rhoden family in April 2016.
He, his wife Angela, 48, his sons George Wagner IV, 27, and Edward “Jake” Wagner, 26, are all charged with aggravated murder and face the possibility of the death penalty.
Wagner appeared in Fayette County, Kentucky court Nov. 14 for a brief extradition hearing where he agreed to go back to Ohio.
He appeared in court for the second time in Pike County Common Pleas Court to plead not guilty Dec. 4.
Thursday afternoon was the first pretrial hearing for the Wagner family patriarch.
He is the fifth member of his family to face a judge in a pretrial hearing for the massacre. Angela, George III, Angela’s mother Rita Newcomb, and his mother Fredericka Wagner have already had their first pretrial hearings.
Fredericka Wagner and Rita Newcomb are charged with obstruction of justice and perjury.
During Fredericka’s pretrial hearing Jan. 10, it was revealed her obstruction and perjury charges come from her testimony in front of a grand jury about the discovery of bullet-proof vests in her home.
Prosecutors say the vests were found inside her son’s room.
Pike County Common Pleas Court Judge Randy Deering imposed a gag order in the cases of Wagner, his wife and sons.
Anyone involved, including law enforcement and attorneys, is barred from talking to the media.
Pike County Prosecutor Rob Junk has said he wants to keep the trials in the county.
All four members of the Wagner family must be separately arraigned and likely will be separately tried because of the death penalty possibility.
Their multi-count indictments also accuse them of conspiracy, engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, tampering with evidence, unlawful possession of a dangerous ordinance, forgery, unauthorized use of property, interception of wire, oral, or electronic communications, obstructing justice, and aggravated burglary.
The bodies of the Rhodens were found in four separate trailers at two locations near Piketon the morning of April 22, 2016.
The victims are Christopher Rhoden, 40; his older brother, Kenneth Rhoden, 44; his cousin, Gary Rhoden; his former wife, Dana Lynn Rhoden, 37, and their children: Clarence “Frankie” Rhoden, 20, Hanna Mae Rhoden, 19, Christopher Rhoden Jr., 16, and Frankie’s fiancé, Hannah Gilley.

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One thought on “Family patriarch Billy Wagner in court for Pike County massacre charges.

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    December 31, 2019 at 7:01 pm

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