George Wagner IV pleads ‘not guilty’ in slayings of 8 from family

Local News
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George Wagner IV pleaded not guilty to 22 charges including eight counts of aggravated murder with death penalty specifications.

He is the second of four Wagner family members charged in the 2016 murders of eight people to be arraigned.

He was ordered held without bail.

Wagner, 27, was led into court wearing a red jailhouse jumpsuit and shackles. 

He spoke softly when questioned by the judge about his plea and about understanding his rights.

Earlier this week, George’s younger brother, Edward “Jake” Wagner, entered not guilty pleas to the same charges and was also ordered held without bail.

Their mother, Angela Wagner, is scheduled for arraignment on Thursday. Their father, George “Billie” Wagner III is set for arraignment next Tuesday.

The Wagner’s were arrested Nov 13 in connection with the 2016 murders of seven members of the Rhoden family and one family member’s fiance.

Investigators say the victims were all shot in the head, most of them while they slept.

The victims were: Christopher Rhoden, Kenneth Rhoden, Gary Rhoden, Dana Manley Rhoden, Christopher Rhoden Jr, Clarence “Frankie” Rhoden, Hanna Rhoden and Hannah Gilley.

Hanna Rhoden and Jake Wagner had a daughter together and investigators have said issues related to the custody of that child are central to the murders.

In court Wednesday, defense attorney Richard Nash asked the court to consider bond for George Wagner IV arguing that Wagner has no prior criminal record.

Angela Canepa, a special prosecutor from the Ohio Attorney General’s office said there is evidence that Wagner participated in family conversations plotting revenge against authorities should any of them get arrested. “There have been multiple conversations where those threats were made and I would say that George Wagner was the most vocal,” Canepa said.

The judge denied the request for bond.

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