Second grandmother accused in Pike County massacre cover-up released to house arrest

Posted at 12:45 PM, Nov 20, 2018

WAVERLY, Ohio -- The second grandmother accused of helping four members of the Wagner family cover up the slayings of eight members of the Rhoden family has posted bond and is now on house arrest.

Rita Jo Newcomb, 65, will be on electronically monitored house arrest at her home, per a judge's order. Court records show she posted her bond, which a Pike County judge set at $50,000. 

Newcomb, the mother of Angela Wagner, is facing charges of obstructing justice, perjury and forgery. Prosecutors said she lied to an investigative grand jury and attempted to cover up her relatives' involvement in the crimes. Her attorney entered a not guilty plea during an arraignment hearing last week.

Wagner, her husband George "Billy" Wagner III and their two sons, Edward "Jake" Wagner and George Wagner IV, are each facing eight charges of aggravated murder and other crimes in the deaths of the Rhodens. 

Billy Wagner's mother, Fredericka Wagner, is also accused of helping them cover up the crimes. She has also posted bond and is being held on house arrest.