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Ohio shooter of 5 members of the family claims he ‘had no alternative’


WAVERLY, Ohio (AP) – An Ohio man convicted of capturing 5 of 8 members of the family killed in a 2016 bloodbath testified Monday that he had no alternative however to kill the mom of her youngster.

Final 12 months, Jake Wagner pleaded responsible to capturing 5 victims, an assault that investigators stated was brought on by a custody dispute between the 2 households.

As a part of his plea deal, Jake Wagner agreed to testify towards his brother, George Wagner IV, in change for an immunity from the dying penalty.

George Wagner IV, whose trial has entered its eighth week in Pike County courtroom, faces the dying penalty if he’s discovered responsible within the Rhoden household’s homicide close to Piketon. George Wagner was the primary individual to face trial for homicide.

Jake and George’s mom, Angela Wagner, additionally pleaded responsible to assist plan the homicide, and is anticipated to testify. Jake and George’s father, George “Billy” Wagner III, pleaded not responsible. He possible will not seem in courtroom till subsequent 12 months. The 4 members of the Wagner household weren’t arrested till greater than two years after the homicide.

Particular Prosecutor Angela Canepa didn’t accuse 31-year-old George Wagner of capturing anybody in April 2016, however she stated he was concerned within the planning, execution and cover-up of “a cover-up” one of the crucial heinous crimes in Ohio historical past.”

The 2 households have been shut for years, however Canepa describes Wagner as obsessive about gaining management of the kid Jake Wagner had with Hanna Rhoden.

The Wagner household pressured Hanna Rhoden to surrender custody of the 3-year-old, however Hanna swore in a Fb message despatched 4 months earlier than the bloodbath that “they must kill me first,” Canepa stated.

Jake Wagner, who stated he feared his daughter may very well be abused, testified on Monday that Hanna Rhoden’s feedback had been his “tipping level” as he determined Hanna, 19, should died.

George Wagner accompanied his brother and father as they drove to 3 separate places the place all eight victims died, entering into the identical couple and serving to his brother transfer the 2 our bodies, Canepa stated prematurely. there.

On Monday, Jake Wagner testified that was the second that led him to conclude that he will need to have killed Hanna, who was 19 on the time of her dying. He stated the opposite meant victims had been Hanna’s brothers Frankie and Chris Rhoden and their father, Chris Rhoden Sr.. 4 different victims had been killed as a result of they may very well be witnesses, Jake Wagner testified.

Jake Wagner additionally testified that George Wagner was imagined to kill Chris Rhoden Sr. however did not open fireplace, so Jake Wagner shot Rhoden himself.

Protection legal professional Richard Nash stated George Wagner was not like the remainder of his household and had nothing to do with the homicide.

Canepa stated The Wagners spent three months planning the bloodbath, buying masks, ammunition and a tool to jam telephone indicators. The brothers even dyed their hair within the week main as much as the homicide, she stated.

Canepa stated quite a lot of discoveries led investigators to Wagner, together with an artillery shell discovered exterior Wagner’s house that matched one from the gun that killed 5 of the victims.

These killed had been Christopher Rhoden Sr., 40 years outdated; his ex-wife, Dana Rhoden, 37 years outdated; Their three youngsters, 20-year-old Clarence “Frankie” Rhoden, Christopher Jr. 16 years outdated and Hanna; Clarence Rhoden’s fiancée, Hannah Gilley, 20; Christopher Rhoden Sr.’s brother, Kenneth Rhoden, 44; and a cousin, Gary Rhoden, 38.


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