Attorneys, prosecutors argue over motions in eldest Wagner case

Published: May. 2, 2022 at 2:29 PM EDT|Updated: May. 2, 2022 at 4:52 PM EDT
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PIKE COUNTY, Ohio (WXIX) -Several motions were discussed in the Pike County Massacre case of the eldest Wagner son Monday, including one that the judge denied.

Most of the motions argued involved the behavior of George Wagner IV leading up to the Rhoden family murders and whether or not the jury gets to hear the case.

Attorneys for Wagner IV stated that they would like a change of venue. His attorney says that they do not believe that they will get a fair jury in Pike County due to the case’s notoriety.

The judge denied the motion but said that the jury selection should be monitored.

Wagner’s attorneys were also stating that they were not getting addresses of the witness names because they believe some may be informants.

Prosecutor Canepa argues that the reason they did not provide the addresses was due to a safety concern.

Wagner’s attorney mentioned that he wants to interview Jake Wagner’s ex-wife, but Canepa says she pled for her life when she left the Wagner home.

Canapa continued to talk about other ‘acts of evidence’ regarding the case. She added that the family acted as unit.

The defense argues that the prosecution’s evidence on George’s family does not reflect him.

According to court records, attorneys for Wagner IV say that the confessions from his mother and younger brother determine that he did not shoot or kill any member of the Rhoden family.

His younger brother Jake Wagner, and his mother, Angela pleaded guilty earlier this year for their roles in the execution-style murders.

George and his father, George “Billy” Wagner III, have pleaded not guilty.

They stated that they do not know who shot whom.

Wagner IV’s attorneys are arguing the death penalty should be off the table because he didn’t shoot anyone.

Court records show that he was indicted on a total of 22 charges.

Wagner IV is expected to start trial on Aug. 29.

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