Lawyers: Man killed no one, so nix death penalty possibility
WAVERLY (AP) — Eight slayings in Ohio have resulted in the dismissal of eight aggravated murder and death penalty charges. They claim that prosecutors now have evidence to prove that he did not kill anyone.
George Wagner IV and his parents, as well as his adult brother, were all charged in the shootings of the Rhoden family near Piketon, Ohio.
In a court filing Friday in Pike County, lawyers for the 29-year-old Wagner questioned the fairness of proceeding with the capital case when recent information turned over by prosecutors indicates Wagner didn’t kill the victims.
His brother Edward “Jake”, pleaded guilty to the charge earlier in the year, and admitted that he had fatally shot five people. Prosecutors claimed Jake Wagner provided a detailed account of the events and led them to more evidence.
Angela Wagner, pleaded guilty to conspiring to arrange the murders and provided new information to the prosecution. Prosecutors agreed to drop the aggravated murder charges against Angela Wagner in exchange.
These plea agreements include an agreement to testify against George Wagner IV and his dad, who have pleaded not guilty.
Authorities claim that the shootings were the result of a custody dispute between Jake Wagner and one of the victims.