WAVERLY, Ohio (WCMH) — In Pike County, shocking new testimony from Jake Wagner was heard in court Wednesday as he took the stand for the third day in the murder trial of his brother George Wagner IV.

During cross-examination, George’s defense attorney asked Jake whether George had argued against the idea of killing the Rhoden family, with Jake responding that he had.

The defense also asked Jake whether George killed anyone on that night in 2016, to which Jake said no, explaining that only Jake and his father, George “Billy” Wagner III, shot and killed eight members of the Rhoden family, and that George IV hesitated to pull the trigger.

Later, the defense questioned Jake on the nature of his plea deal, despite George being on trial for murder, asking him if he realized that he’d been given one of the best plea deals in Ohio’s history, to which Jake said yes.

However, the prosecution questioned Jake on whether all his family was involved in these crimes, to which he confessed that both himself, his parents, and his brother George all participated in some way.

Throughout his testimony, Jake said his whole family had agreed on an alibi, telling police that they were all at home on the night of the murders.

Jake also testified that George helped him bury the weapons after the murders, and Jake later said that those weapons and several rounds of ammunition were placed into concrete buckets on their grandparents’ lake property.

Jake said his family never spoke about the crimes, but that his father did come to him once asking if he regretted their actions. Jake admitted that he lied to his father, telling him he had no regrets, out of fear that his father might retaliate or commit suicide.

Since the beginning of the trial, there has been scrutiny over certain witnesses opting out of showing their faces or voice on camera.

Before Wednesday’s testimony, the court held a hearing of appeal from members of the media, arguing that Jake and other witnesses should not be able to opt out of having their testimony recorded. However, that appeal was denied by the judge. Witnesses will continue to have the option of not being recorded.

Wagner IV is one of four family members accused of the murders. His defense attorneys have maintained their client’s innocence, arguing that he had no knowledge of his family’s motives or actions.

In April 2021, Wagner IV’s younger brother Jake pled guilty to the murders, avoiding the death penalty. Angela and Jake Wagner are expected to testify against him. The patriarch of the family. George “Billy” Wagner III, still awaits trial.

Eight members of the Rhoden family were found dead in Pike County on April 22, 2016. Prosecutors claimed the murders stemmed from a custody dispute over the daughter of Jake Wagner and Hanna May Rhoden, one of the victims. The other victims were Christopher Rhoden Sr., Dana Rhoden, Clarence “Frankie” Rhoden, Christopher Rhoden Jr., Hannah Gilley, Gary Rhoden, and Kenneth Rhoden.