December 6, 2023


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Who George Wagner IV and what did he do?

5 min read

A jury found George Wagner IV guilty of eight counts of aggravated murder and 14 other charges in connection with the 2016 deaths of eight members of the Rhoden family.

The trial, likely the longest homicide trial in Ohio history, lasted more than 12 weeks and involved 60 witnesses and close to 5,000 pieces of evidence.

Wagner IV’s decision to testify in his own defense came as a surprise. He further surprised court watchers and the small audience gathered inside the Pike County Common Pleas courtroom when he denied any knowledge or involvement in the Rhoden homicides, which the prosecution contends were motivated by fears that the grandchild the Wagner and Rhoden families shared was being molested.

Pike County Common Pleas Court in Waverly, Ohio is where the trial of George Wagner IV is taking place.

Here’s what you need to know about the trial.

Who is George Wagner IV?

Born Oct. 6, 1991, Wagner IV is the first of two sons of George “Billy” Wagner III and Angela Jo Carter Wagner.

Homeschooled by his mother, Wagner IV attended an auto mechanic program at a trade school. He hauled cattle with his father and younger brother Jake Wagner IV and, when arrested, was employed by R&L Carriers, a Wilmington, Ohio-based trucking company.

George Wagner IV is questioned by Special Prosecutor Angela Canepa on Nov. 17.

Growing up, Wagner IV, like his peers, rode four-wheelers, camped, fished and hunted. He owned at least 16 guns, according to a list investigators found in his brother’s cell phone.

Wagner IV and Tabitha Claytor were married for two and a half years before Wagner IV’s filing to dissolve the marriage was granted in 2015. Their son Bulvine is now 9.

What is George Wagner IV charged with?

Wagner IV is facing 22 counts, eight of them aggravated murder.

He entered not guilty pleas to the charges. His father, George “Billy” Wagner III, who will be tried next, did the same.

George "Billy" Wagner III talks with his attorney Mark Collins before his plea to Judge Randy Deering at the Pike County Courthouse on Dec. 4, 2018.

His younger brother and mother – Edward “Jake” and Angela Wagner – switched from not guilty to guilty pleas last year with the promise that the entire family would be spared the death penalty if convicted.

Who were the victims?

The victims were all related, by blood or otherwise, living in four different homes in Pike County. Shot to death on the night of April 21-22 in 2016, were: All rights reserved. | Newsphere by AF themes.