Pike County Massacre: Grandmother trial postponed

Trial postponed for Pike County grandmother

WAVERLY, Ohio (FOX19) - One of the grandmothers accused of helping cover up the execution-style killings of eight family members in rural southern Ohio had her final pretrial hearing continued.

Rita Newcomb is charged with with obstructing justice, perjury and three counts of forgery.

Her pretrial hearing will be held on July 25 at 1:30 p.m.

Her trial is now scheduled for October 21, she was set to go on trial next month.

Newcomb is the mother of Angela Wagner, whose husband, George “Billy” Wagner III and the couple’s sons, Edward “Jake” Wagner and George Wagner IV, are all charged with aggravated murder in planning and killing the Rhoden family on April 22, 2016.

Photo: The Wagner family from left to right: George "Billy Wagner III, Angela Wagner, George Wagner IV and Edward "Jake" Wagner. (Photo: FOX19 NOW)
Photo: The Wagner family from left to right: George "Billy Wagner III, Angela Wagner, George Wagner IV and Edward "Jake" Wagner. (Photo: FOX19 NOW)

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.

All were shot in the head, most several times, according to autopsy records.

READ MORE | Pike County Massacre

Eight members of the Rhoden family were killed in Pike Co. in April 206.
Eight members of the Rhoden family were killed in Pike Co. in April 206.

Also happening Friday, attorneys have agreed to turn over files associated with the case.

Earlier this week, more court dates for two Wagner family members were set.

George Wagner IV will stand trial Sept. 4.

The final pre-trial hearing for Edward “Jake” Wagner" will be Sept. 17. He should find out then when his murder trial will begin.

All four Wagners face the possibility of the death penalty. They are being held at jail in separate counties.

In addition to murder charges, Jake Wagner is also charged with unlawful sexual conduct with a minor for having sexual contact with Hanna Rhoden when she was 15 and he was 20, according to his indictment.

Gov. Mike DeWine said last year the custody of the couple’s daughter, Sophia, who is now 5, was a major factor in the massacre.

George “Billy” Wagner III’s mother, Fredericka Wagner, also is charged with obstruction of justice and perjury.

Fredericka Wagner in a Pike County court for a pretrial hearing.
Fredericka Wagner in a Pike County court for a pretrial hearing. (Source: WXIX)

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