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Pike County massacre: George Wagner IV pleads not guilty

Posted at 9:04 AM, Nov 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-28 20:22:24-05

WAVERLY, Ohio -- Another of of the four suspects in the Pike County massacre pleaded not guilty Wednesday morning. 

George Wagner IV, charged in the murders of eight members of the Rhoden family, pleaded not guilty to 22 counts and specifications in Pike County court. Judge Randy Deering ordered Wagner to be held without bond.

George Wagner IV’s brother, Edward “Jake” Wagner and their parents, are also charged in the murders. Jake Wagner pleaded not guilty to 23 counts and specifications in court Tuesday. George “Billy” Wagner III and Angela Wagner will appear in court in the coming days. 

Authorities arrested the family on Nov. 13. They are each facing eight charges of aggravated murder with death penalty specifications and other crimes. 

The Wagners drew scrutiny since the 2016 murders; Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader said months after the murders that he believed the killers were locals.

Attorney General Mike DeWine said the Wagners conspired to kill the Rhodens and cover up their tracks over a custody dispute. Evidence shows they spent months planning the crime and studying the victims' habits and routines.