Youngest Wagner charged in Pike County massacre complains of ‘jailhouse snitches’

Updated: Feb. 10, 2020 at 6:18 PM EST
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PIKE COUNTY, Ohio (FOX19) - The youngest Wagner family member charged with murder in 2016′s Pike County massacre appeared in court on Monday.

Edward “Jake” Wagner 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 trial.

In court on Monday, the defense presented four motions requesting evidentiary hearings to determine the admissibility of certain evidence, including text messages and ballistics. The judge did not rule on those motions.

Separately, Wagner’s attorney raised concerns about “jailhouse snitches," saying inmates at the Franklin County Jail where Wagner is being held are trying to get information out of him about the case.

Wagner’s attorney says the so-called “snitches” want the information so they can trade it for “liberty in their own case.”

Wagner told his attorneys he isn’t saying a word.

“In the event there comes a day when some jail inmate might surface to claim Mr. Wagner is in there talking, I do not believe he is,” the attorney said. “He stands his ground and repeatedly says, ‘I’m not allowed to talk about my case, that’s what my lawyers tell me.’”

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.

They face 22 criminal charges including eight counts of capital murder.

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.

READ MORE | Pike County Massacre

In addition to murder charges, 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.

Wagner is expected back in court April 8.

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