Pike County Massacre: BCI agent testifies about evidence against eldest Wagner son

Lead detective talks about actions of George Wagner IV in Rhoden trial
Published: Sep. 1, 2020 at 4:35 AM EDT
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CINCINNATI (FOX19) - The eldest Wagner son charged in the Pike County massacre appeared in court Monday and heard the first testimony on the Pike County massacre case.

George Wagner IV was in court for a motion hearing.

He’s charged along with three other family members - George “Billy” Wagner III and Angela Wagner and his brother, Edward “Jake” Wagner - in the 2016 slayings of the Rhoden family.

During Monday’s court hearing, Ryan Scheiderer, a special agent with the Ohio Bureau of Investigation (BCI) was the first person to publicly testify in open court against George.

Scheiderer said his team has ballistic evidence, shoe prints, forged documents, recorded conversations and text messages on George.

Shoe prints were found in the blood on the floor of the crime scene, according to the agent.

He also described ballistic evidence that includes shell casings found throughout the house from .40 caliber, .30 caliber and .22 caliber guns that shot the victims.

They 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 April 22, 2016, most several times, according to autopsy records.

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Scheiderer said there are over 8,000 recorded statements and interviews from George, who has claimed there were no child custody issues over a young daughter his brother and former girlfriend, Hanna Rhoden, had together.

A custody dispute is a factor in the massacre, Ohio Gov. Mike Dewine announced when the Wagner family was indicted in November 2018.

It remains unclear when the Wagner family will go on trial in the slayings. They have been delayed several times due to the coronavirus pandemic and the voluminous amount of evidence.

Earlier this summer, Ohio Deputy Attorney General Carol O’Brien filed motions in all four suspects’ cases notifying the court BCI agents would continue their work, but the AG office no longer will provide prosecutors to assist Pike County’s prosecutor.

That development occurred after the lead special prosecutor on the case for the AG’s office, Angela Canepa, abruptly quit. She did not provide a reason for leaving the agency in her one-line resignation letter.

Pike County Prosecutor Rob Junk asked her to stay on the case anyway and filed a request to the court asking her to be appointed a special prosecutor again, at least individually.

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