Judge expands court order for Pike Co. grandmother to have no contact with daughter

Updated: Aug. 28, 2019 at 5:10 PM EDT
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PIKE COUNTY, Ohio (FOX19) - Judge Randy Deering expanded a no contact order for a Pike County grandmother reiterating she may not have contact with her daughter, Angela Wagner, who is one of the main suspects in the Rhoden family murders.

The grandmother, Rita Newcomb, is facing charges in connection with the brutal, execution-style murders that claimed the life of eight members of the Rhoden family in April 2016.

In a hearing on Wednesday, Deering did not revoke Newcomb’s bond.

On July 25, Pike County Prosecutor Rob Junk and Special Prosecuting Attorney Angela Canepa filed a motion to revoke the bail of Newcomb during what was supposed to be her final court appearance.

They say Newcomb has been talking to Wagner, who is one of four members of Wagner’s family charged with murder in the slaying of the Rhoden family.

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Canepa said in court Wednesday that the conversations have been happening by phone and are ‘lengthy.' She also said it’s discussed during the calls that the mother daughter duo should not be talking.

The judge acknowledged that a violation of bond is a very serious offense and reiterated to Newcomb that ‘no contact means no contact.’

“It’s a serious thing to violate court orders and you could go to jail,” Deering said. "There’s been a serious violation of this court order, so I’m going to expand the order. No phone calls can be taken from Angela Wagner and no calls are to be taken by her from anyone else in that house.

If the court finds calls are being received or made to Wagner or if people while at that house are receiving or making calls to her then one of two things will happen; you’ll go to jail or you can’t live in that home anymore."

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

Her final pretrial hearing was scheduled for June 14, but was continued and her trial was rescheduled for Oct. 21.

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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.

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.

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