PIKE – The patriarch of the family accused of killing eight people in one night seven years ago will appear in court next week.
Billy Wagner is the last of four members to appear and be sentenced for the killing of seven members of the Rhoden family and Hannah Gilley.
His son Jake Wagner pleaded guilty to all charges in 2021, later that year Wagner’s wife, Jakes’s’s mother pleaded guilty to conspiracy and other charges related to the killings. Just a few months ago in November, a jury found Wagner’s oldest son George Wagner IV guilty of all charges. His mother and brother both testified against him in court. George suffered the most severe penalties so far with eight consecutive life sentences, plus and additional 121 years in prison for the crimes.
Billy Wagner is scheduled to appear before Deering in a pre-trial hearing on Jan. 18 at 1 p.m, but the Judge is retiring next month his replacement is current Pike Co. Prosecutor Rob Junk, who would have to recuse himself from Billy Wagner’s case due to a conflict of interest.
Also leaving the prosecution team is special prosecutor Andy Wilson, the gubernatorial appointee who is taking over as the director of the Ohio Department of Public Safety.
All of those issues will be hammered out in next week’s hearings