Youngest Wagner in Pike County Massacre appears in court

Youngest Wagner in Pike County Massacre appears in court
Edward "Jake" Wagner, 26, faces the possibility of the death penalty for the execution-style slayings of eight members of the Rhoden family in Pike County that happened in April 2016.

WAVERLY, Ohio (FOX19) - The youngest Wagner family member charged with murder in 2016′s Pike County massacre appeared in court Tuesday at 1:30 p.m.

At Edward “Jake” Wagner’s last hearing, he waived his right to a speedy trial through Jan. 31 2021, which means it could be more than a year before his case goes to court.

Tuesday’s court appearance was a pretrial motion hearing, where the prosecution and defense attorneys jockeyed over everything from discovery requests to jury instructions to the duration certain gruesome images are allowed for display—in short, anything that might prejudice an outcome in the case.

READ MORE | Pike County Massacre

Jake Wagner, together with his mother, father, and brother. 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.

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.

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