Wagner patriarch booked into Butler County jail for Rhoden family massacre

Wagner patriarch booked into Butler County jail for Rhoden family massacre
George 'Billy' Wagner III was booked into the Butler County Jail early Monday morning after he waived extradition in Lexington, Kentucky Wednesday afternoon. (Source: WXIX)

BUTLER COUNTY, OH (FOX19) - The patriarch of the Wagner family arrested for the brutal murder of the Rhoden family in April 2016 was booked into the Butler County Jail early Monday morning.

George ‘Billy’ Wagner III is one of six members from the Wagner family arrested in connection with the Pike County execution style murders.

George 'Billy' Wagner III was booked into the Butler County Jail early Monday morning after he waived extradition from Lexington, Kentucky Wednesday afternoon. (Butler County Jail)
George 'Billy' Wagner III was booked into the Butler County Jail early Monday morning after he waived extradition from Lexington, Kentucky Wednesday afternoon. (Butler County Jail) (Source: (Butler County Jail))

The victims are 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.

Billy Wagner was taken into custody Tuesday afternoon in Lexington, Kentucky.

Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader says sheriff’s deputies and BCI agents followed Wagner into Kentucky as he hauled a Flying W Farms horse trailer behind his truck.

Reader reached out to the Fayette County, Kentucky Sheriff’s Office for assistance with an arrest.

Wagner was held at the Fayette County Jail until his transfer back to Ohio early Monday morning.

Court records show Wagner was booked into the Butler County Jail at 5:45 a.m. and is being held without bond.

The rest of the Wagner family, including grandmothers Fredericka Wagner and Rita Newcomb, were arrested at various locations across Ohio including Ross County, Scioto County and Pike County.

Ohio Attorney General and Governor-elect Mike Dewine announced George "Billy” Wagner III, 47, Angela Wagner, 48, George Wagner IV, 27, and Edward “Jake” Wagner, 26, were all taken into custody Tuesday on aggravated murder charges with the possibility for the death penalty.

READ MORE: Pike County grandmother charged in massacre cover-up freed on bond

Fredericka Wagner, 76, was freed on bond Thursday after her first court appearance. She is charged with obstruction and perjury in the Rhoden family murders.

Defense attorney James Owens said Fredericka Wagner fervently believes her son is innocent, along with her daughter-in-law and two grandsons.

The initial court appearance for Jake Wagner in Franklin County Municipal Court Friday was postponed abruptly without explanation. Court officials have not said when the court date will be rescheduled.

Jake, who fathered Sophia, 5, with Hanna Rhoden, is being held without bond at the Franklin County Jail in Columbus.

Billy Wagner faced a judge in Kentucky for the first time Wednesday after being charged with killing the family of eight.

READ MORE: Pike County massacre: Wagner family patriarch waives extradition

“Yeah, I’ll go back to Ohio,” he told the judge as he waived extradition in the brief appearance.

Court officials have not said when Wagner’s next court appearance will be.

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