WAVERLY, Ohio (WCMH) — A member of the Wagner family who was convicted of killing eight members of the Rhoden family received his prison sentence Monday.
George Wagner IV was sentenced in Pike County Court to life in prison without parole after being found guilty on Nov. 30 of 22 counts, including eight for aggravated murder. The judge stated he will serve eight mandatory life sentences, one for each count of aggravated murder along with an additional 121 years, 81 of which are mandatory. You can watch the sentencing in the video player above.
The eight counts of aggravated murder Wagner IV was found guilty of were for his role in the killing of Christopher Rhoden Sr., 40; Dana Rhoden, 37; Clarence “Frankie” Rhoden, 20; Hanna Rhoden, 19; Christopher Rhoden Jr., 16; Hannah Gilley, 20; Kenneth Rhoden, 44; and Gary Rhoden, 38, on the night of April 21 and morning of April 22, 2016.
Wagner IV will not face the death penalty after Pike County Judge Randy Deering dismissed that sentence from the case. The judge, preempting the sentencing, informed Wagner IV that he will have to register as a violent offender in Ohio’s database.
The additional counts he was found guilty of include conspiracy, aggravated burglary, unlawful possession of dangerous ordnance, tampering with evidence, forgery, unauthorized use of property, interception of wire, oral, or electronic communications, obstructing justice, and engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity.
More than two years after the killings, in November 2018, then-attorney general Mike DeWine announced the arrest of four members of the Wagner family: father George “Billy” Wagner IV, mother Angela Wagner, and brothers Jake Wagner and George Wagner IV.
Angela Wagner and Jake Wagner testified against him during his 14-week trial. Jake pleaded guilty to all charges in April 2021, and Angela pleaded guilty to 14 charges — excluding the murder charges — in September 2021.
George “Billy” Wagner III is awaiting trial.