An Ohio man pleaded responsible Thursday to his position within the grisly 2016 homicide of his baby’s mom and 7 of her relations – against the law that sparked terror in the neighborhood earlier than authorities decided it revolved round a custody dispute.
Edward “Jake” Wagner, 28, pleaded responsible to 23 counts in Pike County. The deal spares Wagner the demise penalty. He agreed to cooperate within the circumstances towards his mother and father and brother, who’re additionally charged within the 2016 slayings.
The costs included eight counts of aggravated homicide, in addition to fees of conspiracy, aggravated housebreaking, tampering with proof, illegal sexual conduct with a minor and different counts.
Wagner admitted he was personally chargeable for 5 of the deaths, particular prosecutor Angela Canepa stated. He gave prosecutors a full account of the slayings, together with info that led to them to extra proof.
The killings in April 2016 terrified residents within the surrounding rural group and prompted probably the most intensive legal investigations in state historical past.
Wagner’s relations George Billy Wagner III, Angela Wagner and their son George Billy Wagner IV have pleaded not responsible for his or her alleged roles within the homicide.
The victims had been 40-year-old Christopher Rhoden Sr.; his ex-wife, 37-year-old Dana Rhoden; their three youngsters, 20-year-old Clarence “Frankie” Rhoden, 16-year-old Christopher Jr., and 19-year-old Hanna, the mom of Jake Wagner’s baby; Clarence Rhoden’s fiancée, 20-year-old Hannah Gilley; Christopher Rhoden Sr.’s brother, 44-year-old Kenneth Rhoden; and a cousin, 38-year-old Gary Rhoden.
Prosecutors alleged the killings had been motivated by a custody dispute. Jake Wagner tried to persuade Hanna Rhoden to comply with shared custody of their daughter and he or she refused, Canepa stated.
The Wagners used weapons with two home made silencers, permitting them to kill their victims as they slept, Canepa stated. Elements from a failed effort to construct a silencer had been discovered on the Wagners’ property, she stated.
Many of the victims had been repeatedly shot within the head, and a few confirmed indicators of bruising. Three younger youngsters on the scenes, together with Jake Wagner’s baby, had been unhurt.
Canepa stated shell casings discovered on the Wagners’ residence matched these discovered on the homicide scenes. Investigators additionally discovered a shoe of the identical dimension and tread that matched a shoe print discovered on the scene.
The Related Press contributed to this report.