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Ohio shooter of 5 relations claims he ‘had no alternative’


An Ohio man convicted of taking pictures 5 of eight relations killed in a 2016 bloodbath testified Monday that he had no alternative however to kill the mom of his baby.

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

As a part of his plea settlement, Jake Wagner agreed to testify in opposition to his brother, George Wagner IV, in change for an immunity from the loss of life penalty.

George Wagner IV, whose trial has entered its eighth week in Pike County courtroom, faces the loss of life penalty if he’s convicted of the Rhoden household murders 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 serving to plan the murders, and is predicted to testify. Jake and George’s father, George “Billy” Wagner III, pleaded not responsible. He doubtless 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 taking pictures anybody in April 2016, however she mentioned 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 mentioned.

Jake Wagner, who mentioned he feared his daughter might be abused, testified on Monday that Hanna Rhoden’s feedback have been his “tipping level” as he determined Hanna, 19, should died.

George Wagner accompanied his brother and father as they drove to a few separate areas the place all eight victims died, coming into the identical couple and serving to his brother transfer the 2 our bodies, Canepa mentioned upfront. there.

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

Jake Wagner additionally testified that George Wagner allegedly killed Chris Rhoden Sr. however did not open hearth, so Jake Wagner shot Rhoden himself.

Protection legal professional Richard Nash mentioned George Wagner was in contrast to the remainder of the household and had nothing to do with the homicide.

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

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

These killed have been Christopher Rhoden Sr., 40 years previous; his ex-wife, Dana Rhoden, 37 years previous; Their three kids, 20-year-old Clarence “Frankie” Rhoden, Christopher Jr. 16 years previous 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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