WAVERLY, Ohio — You may have heard of court cases where testimony came from a prisoner or guards who spoke with the suspect in jail.
To make sure that doesn’t happen to Jake Wagner — youngest of four Wagners accused in the Rhoden family massacre — his attorneys filed a unique motion Thursday during Wagner’s pretrial hearing in Pike County Common Pleas Court.
Since his arrest on aggravated murder charges, Wagner has been housed at the Franklin County Jail in Columbus. His court-appointed attorneys filed a motion to restrict who can and who cannot talk to Wagner about the case. They say they’re trying to protect his right to a fair trial.
Wagner's attorneys don’t want him getting into casual conversations and find that winding up as evidence in court. The motion covers prosecutors, law enforcement officers, social workers, psychiatric personnel, corrections officers and jail personnel.
Judge Randy Deering won’t decide whether to approve it until next year.
Another motion — already granted — allows Wagner to wear civilian clothes in court and appear without shackles. Wagner came to court with his hair pulled back and handcuffs on his hands.
Wagner’s attorneys also filed other motions for discovery, bill of particulars and motion filing deadlines.
Wagner’s attorneys began the lengthy legal process of trying to get information from the prosecution on the case. The bill of particulars seeks to determine exactly what role Wagner allegedly played in the Rhoden family murders.
For example, on the charge of murdering Kenneth Rhoden, they want to know if the state is accusing Wagner of having a firearm on his person or under his control, but not in his personal possession
Since this is a case where the death penalty is a possibility, expect that the motions filed by Jake Wagner’s attorneys will also be filed by attorneys for his father, mother and brother.
Wagner’s next appearance in Pike County court is set for Jan. 24. One of the motions to be argued that day is whether he’s going to be allowed in court without visible physical restraints.