© 2023 WYSO
Our Community. Our Nation. Our World.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

George Wagner found guilty on 22 counts related to 2016 Pike County massacre

George Wagner IV testifying during Pike County murder trial 11-16-22.jpg
Law & Crime Channel
George Wagner IV was convicted in the fatal shootings of eight members of the Rhoden family in 2016.

George Wagner IV has been found guilty on 22 counts connected to a 2016 massacre that happened in Pike County.

The jury returned its verdict on Wednesday afternoon.

Wagner was accused in the fatal shootings of eight members of the Rhoden family.

He was found guilty on all counts, including eight counts of aggravated murder, aggravated burglary, conspiracy, tampering with evidence and forgery.

It was previously ruled that the death penalty would not be considered if Wagner was convicted on the murder charges.

During the trial, prosecutors alleged that a child custody fight between Wagner’s brother, Jake, and the mother of his child, Hannah Rhoden, was the catalyst behind the murders.

George and Jake's father, Billy Wagner, will also stand trial on the same 22 counts.

During closing arguments that finished on Tuesday, defense attorney John Parker said his client had no reason to take part in the murders, despite testimony from Wagner’s mother and brother claiming George was involved.

Wagner's mother and brother have already pleaded guilty to several charges in the case.

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost issued the following statement after the jury returned its verdict:

This case was a test of BCI’s abilities, and BCI passed it with flying colors. Today’s jury verdict puts the stamp of approval on the bureau’s work. I am grateful for the untold hours, days and weeks that our investigators and forensic scientists dedicated to this case – it reinforces the team’s dogged determination to secure justice for the victims and their families.”

Wagner is scheduled to be sentenced sometime between Dec. 14 and Christmas Day.