Pike County massacre suspect Angela Wagner pleads not guilty

Posted at 10:56 AM, Nov 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-29 20:02:17-05

WAVERLY, Ohio -- The third suspect charged with killing eight members of the Rhoden family in the Pike County massacre pleaded not guilty Thursday.

Angela Wagner, 48, is facing 22 charges, including eight counts of aggravated murder with death penalty specifications.

Wagner waived her right to a speedy trial and Judge Randy Deering ordered that she be held without bond.

Authorities said that Wagner, along with her husband, 47-year-old George "Billy" Wagner III, and their two sons, 27-year-old George Wagner IV and 26-year-old Edward "Jake" Wagner, conspired to kill the eight victims and carried out the slayings on April 22, 2016 in rural Pike County. Attorney General Mike DeWine, who is also the governor-elect, said that a custody dispute played a role in the plot.

Jake Wagner and George Wagner IV were arraigned Tuesday and Wednesday. Both pleaded not guilty and are being held without bond.

Deering granted gag orders preventing law enforcement and others involved from publicly discussing the brothers' cases and issued a similar order Thursday for Angela Wagner's case.

Billy Wagner's arraignment is scheduled for Dec. 4. 

Two other family members, Rita Newcomb and Fredericka Wagner, pleaded not guilty earlier this month to charges that they helped cover up the crimes. They are being monitored on house arrest.