Oh c. WAGNER: trial for family massacre in Ohio

PIKE COUNTY, Ohio (Court TV) – A group of more than 70 potential jurors will appear at the Pike County Courthouse on Monday for the final round of jury selection in one of the most notorious mass murder cases. of Ohio State History.

They will be asked to decide the fate of George Wagner IV who, along with his brother, Jake and their parents – Angela and George III – are all charged with the shooting deaths of eight members of the Rhoden family, who were killed in the manner of an execution. in April 2016. Investigators called the massacre “cold and calculated.”

Prosecutors say it all stems from a custody dispute over the daughter of Jake Wagner and Hanna May Rhoden, 19. Hanna was one of the victims, along with her parents, Chris, 40, and Dana, 37. His uncle Kenneth, 44, cousin Gary, 38, and brother Christopher Jr., 16, were also killed.

Also among the victims are Hanna’s older brother Clarence, 20, and his fiancée Hannah Gilley, 20. All of the victims were shot in the head, according to Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine.

Hanna and Jake’s child, along with another child, were the only lives spared.

Reservation photo of George Wagner IV. (Scioto County Jail)

Investigators found the bodies in four separate houses spread over three sites more than 20 miles apart. Pike County investigators believe the complex crime scenes suggest a coordinated attack.

The investigation lasted two years before arrests were made.

“At the center of this case are members of the same family, whom we believe the evidence will show conspired together to kill these eight people, eight of their friends,” authorities said at a conference. Press.

Prosecutors say the Wagners studied their victim’s habits and whereabouts in cold, calculated revenge.

After reaching plea deals with the state, George Wagner IV’s mother, Angela, and younger brother Jake are expected to testify against him. According to a recent plea hearing, prosecutors agreed not to seek the death penalty for Jake in exchange for testifying against his father and brother, who will also be spared the death penalty if Jake testifies “truly” at the court. state satisfaction.

Angela Wagner, the family matriarch, also pleaded guilty. In exchange for her testimony, she will serve a 30-year sentence.

The family’s testimony could work against them, however, as the defense would have to plead George Wagner’s innocence based on his brother’s own confession. The father of the Wagner family will also go on trial later this year.

The court is looking to accommodate 12 jurors and four to six alternates.

Court TV will cover the Ohio vs. George Wagner IV Hammer to Hammer proceedings. Watch Court TV LIVE for the latest updates.

Court TV legal correspondent Chanley Painter and digital editor Beth Hemphill contributed to this report.

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