Eldest Wagner son makes second court appearance in Pike Co. slayings

He and 3 of his family members are charged in the execution-style murders of the Rhoden family

George Wagner IV appears in Pike County court

PIKE COUNTY, OH (FOX19) - The eldest of the Wagner sons made his second appearance in court Wednesday afternoon.

George Wagner IV, 27, not to be confused with his namesake father George “Billy” Wagner III, appeared in a Pike County courtroom for his first pretrial hearing.

The hearing was brief and discussed the same motions and filings as Monday’s pretrial hearing for Wagner’s mother Angela:

  • The defense is still waiting for a Bill of Particulars and they’re OK with the time it’s taking to get it
  • They’d like more time to file motions relating to the case
  • Wagner is not to have any contact with his family who are his co-defendants

Wagner appeared in court wearing jeans, a black button-up dress shirt, black vest and red and black tie. His appearance in plain clothes was noted by both his defense attorneys Charles Knight and Richard Nash, Jr., and prosecuting attorneys Rob Junk and Angela Canepa.

All attorneys wanted the change in clothing noted and said police inspected the outfit before court began.

Wagner’s next court appearance is scheduled for March 22 at 1:30 p.m.

He stayed mostly silent during Wednesday’s hearing, only speaking when give a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to the judge. He also gave no indication of emotion as he listened to the day’s proceedings.

WATCH LIVE: The eldest Wagner son, George Wagner IV, is in court for his first pretrial hearing. He pleaded not guilty to all 22 charges he's facing for the execution-style murders of 8 members of the Rhoden family in April 2016. READ MORE: https://bit.ly/2RDoHVJ

Posted by FOX19 on Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Wagner also showed little emotion throughout his initial court appearance where he pleaded not guilty Nov. 28 to killing eight members of the Rhoden family in April 2016.

He faces 22 charges including eight charges of capital murder.

Wagner brother pleads not guilty for role in Rhoden family massacre

Wagner’s mother Angela Wagner was in court Monday afternoon for her first pretrial hearing. She was ordered to have no contact with her family members.

READ MORE: Mother charged in Rhoden family murders to have no contact with family members

George Wagner IV, his mother Angela, 48, his father Billy, 47, and his brother Edward “Jake," 26, are all charged with the brutal murders of the Rhoden family.

Angela’s mother Rita Newcomb, 65, and Billy’s mother Fredericka Wagner, 76, are accused of assisting with covering up the killings.

The Rhoden family slayings are considered the state’s most complex homicide investigation to date, resulting in more than 1,000 tips, hundreds of people interviewed and dozens of search warrants.

READ MORE: Pike County Massacre

The victims were family patriarch Christopher Rhoden, 40; his older brother, Kenneth Rhoden, 44; his cousin, Gary Rhoden; his former wife, Dana Lynn Rhoden, 37, and their children: Clarence “Frankie” Rhoden, 20, Hanna Mae Rhoden, 19, Christopher Rhoden Jr., 16, and Frankie’s fiancé, Hannah Gilley.

A custody dispute between Jake Wagner and Hanna Mae Wagner is said to be a factor in the massacre, Ohio Attorney General and Governor-elect Mike DeWine said. That child, Sophia, is now 5 years old.

All members of the Wagner family are scheduled to appear in court this week for their first pretrial hearings. All pleaded not guilty to their charges.

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