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Edward “Jake” Wagner’s defense attorneys question evidence in Pike County massacre case

Updated: Apr. 12, 2021 at 12:31 PM EDT
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PIKE COUNTY, Ohio (FOX19) -Edward “Jake” Wagner’s defense attorneys are now questioning if some evidence in his case regarding the Pike County massacre is admissible in court.

During Jake’s court appearance Monday morning, the evidence being questioned by the defense are the photographs, shoe prints, and shell casings.

The prosecuting attorneys stated that the evidence is admissible in court. A judge set a date for the all-day evidentiary hearing on May 12.

Jake is charged along with three other family members - George Wagner IV, Angela Wagner, and George “Billy” Wagner III - in the 2016 slayings of the Rhoden family.

Eight members of the Rhoden family were killed in execution-style murders.

READ MORE | Pike County Massacre

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.

According to an autopsy report, all of the victims were shot in the head.

Jake was the ex-boyfriend of Hanna. Gov. Mike DeWine said in 2018 that a major factor in the case was the custody dispute over Jake and Hannah’s daughter, Sophie.

In addition to murder charges, Jake 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.

>> Pike County massacre: New trial date set for Jake Wagner

All of the Wagners have pleaded not guilty. They have been held at separate Ohio jails since their arrests in November 2018.

Court documents show that Jake will be in court for a jury trial in August.

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