Pike County massacre suspect Jake Wagner asks to appear in court without restraints

Posted at 9:39 AM, Jan 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-24 14:26:45-05

WAVERLY, Ohio -- One of the Pike County massacre suspects wants to appear in court without restraints.

Edward “Jake” Wagner's attorneys asked that Wagner would be able to appear in court without restraints in a pretrial hearing Thursday. Judge Randy Deering said Wagner must wear a "stun belt" in order to appear in court without visible restraints. Sheriff’s deputies did not have a means to allow Wagner to appear without restraints on Thursday, but the Judge Deering said officials would have this in place for his next court date.

Sheriff Charles Reader released the following statement:

“We are aware of the Judge’s order and Chief Ryan Bentley, who oversees the Sheriff’s office’s corrections, is looking into several different options at this time to recommend to the Court.”

Wagner is already allowed to wear civilian clothes in court and appear without shackles.

Jake Wagner, along with his father, George “Billy” Wagner III; mother, Angela Wagner; and brother George Wagner IV face murder charges in connecting to the 2016 murders of eight members of the Rhoden family.

MORE: Pike County massacre evidence list shows how investigators closed in on suspects

Angela and Billy Wagner's attorneys also filed motions asking if they can appear in court without restraints.

Jake Wagner’s attorneys filed a motion in his Dec. 20 hearing to restrict who can and who cannot talk to Wagner about the case.

Wagner's attorneys said they 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 Deering won’t decide whether to approve that motion until next year.

Wagner is scheduled to appear in court at 1:30 p.m. on April 4.