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

Delay granted on dozens of Wagner motions

PIKE COUNTY, OH (FOX19) - The matriarch of the four-person family accused of brutally executing a Pike County family in their homes appeared in court for the second time Monday afternoon.

Angela Wagner, 48, pleaded ‘not guilty’ to all charges in the Rhoden family massacre during her arraignment Nov. 29.

Wagner, her Husband George III “Billy," 47, and their sons Edward “Jake," 26, and George IV, 27, are charged with aggravated murder and face the possibility of the death penalty.

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

During Monday afternoon’s first pretrial hearing, defense attorneys for Wagner announced they’d filed 29 motions. The judge said prosecution had until the end of January to make a written response to those filings.

WATCH LIVE: Angela Wagner is in court facing charges in the brutal, execution-style slayings of the Rhoden family. >> Her husband, two sons, mother and mother-in-law are all facing charges in the Pike County Massacre

Posted by FOX19 on Monday, January 7, 2019

A ‘request for discovery’ was also discussed during the hearing. Wagner’s attorneys say they expect to receive more documents today and feel confident that all documents that are necessary for the defense are being shared.

Defense attorneys also filed a bill of particulars, which they say the state is working on and expect as soon as possible.

The judge determined that due to Monday’s motions, there will be an indefinite period of time allowed for more motions to be filed. The court will determine a deadline at a later date.

Prosecutors asked that Wagner not be allowed any contact with her co-defendants: her husband, two sons, mother and mother-in-law. That includes direct and indirect contact.

Wagner’s attorneys agreed to that request stating they’d advised previously advised her to have no contact with her family.

She is set to appear in court again on March 20 for pretrial.

Angela Wagner pleads 'not guilty'

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.

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.

All were all shot in the head -- most several times -- according to autopsy records released in September.

A custody dispute over Sophia, the now 5-year-old daughter of Jake Wagner and Hanna Mae Rhoden is a factor in the massacre that wiped out the eight Rhoden family members, Ohio Attorney General and Governor-Elect Mike DeWine.

All members of the Wagner family pleaded not guilty during their arraignments.

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