The latest: Wagner pleads guilty in Rhoden family massacre


PIKE COUNTY, OH (WOWK) – Five years ago today, eight people from one Pike County, Ohio family were shot to death in four separate homes.

It was one of the biggest crime scenes in Ohio State history.

Christopher Rhoden, Sr., Dana Rhoden, Clarence “Frankie” Rhoden, Christopher Rhoden, Jr., Hanna Rhoden, Hannah Gilley, Gary Rhoden, and Kenneth Rhoden were all killed on April 21st and 22nd, 2016.

An investigation led by then Attorney General, and now Governor Mike Dewine – led to charges being filed against four members of the Wagner family.

Those four people are Edward “Jake” Wagner, George “Billy” Wagner III, Angela Wagner and George Wagner IV, who at the time pleaded not guilty.

Today, on the anniversary of the slayings, one of the suspects appeared in court. One of those charged with the murders, Edward Wagner, changed his plea to guilty in the Pike County courthouse this afternoon.

Edward Wagner pleaded not guilty in 2018 when he was charged in the Rhoden family murders.

Today, he agreed to change his plea to guilty – on the five year anniversary of the Rhoden family massacre, in order to take the death penalty for himself off the table.

With Wagner changing his plea, Thursday, he has agreed to testify against his own family member regarding everyone’s involvement in the massacre.

Wagner faces a maximum of eight consecutive life sentences, plus additional years in prison that could number in the hundreds.

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