Jake Wagner returns for third day of Pike County Massacre testimony
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WAVERLY, Ohio (WXIX) – Confessed Pike County killer Jake Wagner will return to the witness box Wednesday and testify for the third day in a row against his brother, George Wagner IV.
Pike County Massacre: Full Trial Coverage
Jake Wagner will take the stand around 10 a.m. after a hearing first on witnesses like him who want to testify off-camera.
This hearing is ongoing at this time.
The confessed killer of at least five people who is a co-defendant in the capital murder trial of his brother, has been allowed to testify off-camera all week.
Their mother, Angela Wagner, is expected to testify against George Wagner IV next week.
Their testimony against George Wagner is part of their plea to the state.
When witnesses choose not to be recorded on our live stream, only those in the courtroom can see and hear it.
Several other witnesses testified on camera, including the ex-wives of George Wagner and Jake Wagner, some relatives of the Rhoden family who sometimes cried on the stand as they recounted painful memories of their slain loved ones, officers from the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation. and the Hamilton County Coroner’s Office Deputy Coroner who performed autopsies on all of the victims.
On Tuesday, the Ohio Fourth District Court of Appeals issued a ruling ordering Pike County Court of Common Pleas Judge Randy Deering to allow all camera testimony to be recorded unless first hold a hearing and determine certain criteria.
The prosecution and the media lawyers can present their arguments for and against the recording of testimony during the hearing.
The appeals court’s decision came after Jake Wagner already testified off-camera all day Monday, detailing how the massacre was planned and executed, and continued to testify off-camera on Tuesday.
After a lengthy lunch break, the judge announced he would hold a hearing on Wednesday to consider the reasons for the off-camera testimony, then allowed Jake Wagner to continue testifying the rest of the day off-camera.
On Tuesday, Jake Wagner told the jury how his brother and their father helped him get rid of guns and other items they used in the execution-style killings of eight people in April 2016.
He told the jury that his family agreed to tell law enforcement that they were all at home watching television when the killings took place on April 21 and 22, 2016.
“I believe my dad said not to offer winnings,” Wagner recalled on the stand.
Questioned by Special Prosecutor Angela Canepa, he said he and his family never spoke about the murders or the custody of his daughter, which is believed to be the motive for what has become the most recent murder case. largest and most expensive in Ohio.
“No. I couldn’t without feeling immense guilt…I decided to completely erase the memory.
On Monday, Jake Wagner nonchalantly described committing crimes such as arson and theft for years with his family and spoke equally calmly of shooting most of the eight members of the Rhoden and Gilley families.
Jake Wagner describes the massacre: ‘She looked up and made a gasping sound, then I shot her’
Prosecutors say the Wagners planned the execution-style killings for months so Jake Wagner could have sole custody of his daughter, Sophia, who was born in 2015 to one of the victims, 19-year-old Hanna May Rhoden.
The other victims are her father, Christopher Rhoden Sr., 40; his older brother, Kenneth Rhoden, 44; his cousin, Gary Rhoden, 38; his ex-wife, Dana Lynn Rhoden, 37, and their sons: Clarence “Frankie” Rhoden, 20, Christopher Rhoden Jr., 16, and Frankie’s fiancee, Hannah “Hazel” Gilley, 20.
A legal analyst talks about the latest developments in the Pike County lawsuit
During a court accompaniment on Monday, Jake Wagner looked at several of the victims’ relatives in the courtroom and appeared to mouth the words, “I’m sorry.”
George Wagner IV, 31, is the first of the Wagners to stand trial.
He pleaded not guilty to 22 counts, including eight counts of aggravated murder, with his father, Billy Wagner.
George Wagner did not shoot and kill anyone, but prosecutors say he can and should be convicted of aggravated murder because he conspired with his family in planning and carrying out the massacre.
Jake Wagner told the jury on Monday that his brother was supposed to be the one who shot Chris Rhoden Sr., but he froze so Jake pulled the trigger.
Jake Wagner and his mother have pleaded guilty to their role in last year’s massacre. Next, Jake Wagner led investigators to the weapons and vehicles used in the murders.
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