Eight members of a single family were slaughtered, most in their sleep. The attack was “coordinated” by a rival household of four locked in a bitter custody battle. Defendant Angela Wagner reportedly confessed that they took a vote on whether to commit the murders and “both her sons and husband said yes.” They must be Democrats. The first of two trials is about to get started and spectators practically need a scorecard to keep track.
Family feud murder spree
After a Long multi-million dollar investigation, the first trial is about to get underway in the Piketon Massacre case. A rural Ohio family of eight were slaughtered “execution-style” in the “coordinated attack” which happened back in 2016. At the heart of the dispute is a female child.
Hanna May Rhoden, age 19 at the time of her murder, was the “ex-girlfriend” of 29-year-old Edward “Jake” Wagner. “They shared custody of their daughter at the time of the massacre.” He has already pleaded guilty.
On April 22, 2016, Hannah was shot multiple times “as she slept next to her newborn baby.” Her father, mother, and two brothers were next. “Christopher Rhoden Sr, 40, mother Dana Rhoden, 37, and brothers Clarence, 20, and Christopher Jr, 16, were also killed.” That accounts for 5 victims and that whole family was allegedly killed in their sleep.
“Clarence Rhoden’s fiancée, Hannah Gilley, 20, Christopher Sr.’s brother, Kenneth Rhoden, 44, and cousin Gary Rhoden, 38, were also shot dead across four different homes across rural Ohio.” Court documents note that Clarence and Hannah “were shot dead while sleeping with their child.”
Jake isn’t the only member of the Wagner family to face charges. Mom, Dad, and Brother are going down with him. Mom Angela, age 51, took a plea admitting conspiracy to murder. She also admitted “several counts of aggravated burglary, tampering with evidence and other charges” and will spend 30 years in a cell.
Jake took a deal and “was sentenced to eight life terms in prison.” Dad “George ‘Billy’ Wagner III, 50, and George Wager IV, 28, have both pleaded not guilty to the charges against them.” Billy gets the first trial.
Brother didn’t kill anyone
Bubba Billy’s lawyers insist “he had nothing to do with the murders, saying he did not shoot or kill anyone on that night in 2016.” He did flee with the rest of the family to Alaska, though. Grandma Rita Newcomb, Angela’s mom, was also “charged with obstructing the course of justice and perjury while Fredericka Wagner, Billy Wagner’s mother, had charges against her dropped.”
Prosecutors say they planned the murders for months. It all started when Wagner wanted sole custody of his daughter Sophia, now 9. His ex, Hanna posted on Facebook saying “they will have to kill me first.” Since she insisted…
Jake “dated Hannah when she was 13, and got her pregnant at 15, but the relationship ended, and she had a second child with another man.” The Wagners couldn’t stand for that. “Investigators claim the family bought ammunition, a magazine clip, brass catchers and a bug detector to prepare for the crimes.”
They “constructed a homemade silencer that was used in the shootings and used ‘countersurveillance devices’ on the properties as well as tampering with phones, cameras and parts of a home security system.”
Prosecutors claim “that Billy lured Christopher Sr to his death by setting up a fake ‘lucrative’ drug deal at the Union Hill Road Property before he was shot dead.” Family members “George and Jake were hidden in the car and are accused of ambushing Hanna’s father before going on to three other homes along the road.”
Christopher Sr. “is the only victim who was believed to have been awake when they were shot, suffering nine gunshot wounds in his forearm, torso and cheek.“
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Author: Staff Editor
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