Edward Jacob Wagner, 27, who is charged in connection with the 2016 murders of eight members of the Rhoden and Gilley families, was back in the Pike County Court of Common Pleas on Monday for another pre-trial.
During the hearing, Judge Randy Deering addressed prosecution and defense concerning the state’s progress in providing discovery evidence to the defense.
He also mentioned that defense had filed four motions that day, which would be scheduled for hearing. According to online court records, the four defense motions filed on Monday request a pretrial evidentiary hearing to determine the admissibility of ballistics evidence and opinions, shoeprint evidence and opinions, any written communications the state intends to present in its case, and any non-testifying co-defendant statements the state intends to present in its case.
Also, during the hearing, one of Wagner’s defense attorneys mentioned that Wagner had indicated a perception that inmates where he is housed in Franklin County have on occasion made a focused effort to try to get him to talk about his case. His attorney said he does not believe that Wagner has spoken about the case to the inmates, but the attorney indicated that he wanted to mention the issue in case an inmate in the future says that Wagner spoke to them about his case. The attorney indicated that sometimes a so-called jailhouse snitch will try to share information in order to help with their own case.
Wagner is one of four members of the Wagner family charged with the 2016 murders. Arrested in addition to Edward Wagner were his father, George “Billy” Wagner III, Edward’s mother Angela Wagner, and his brother, George Wagner IV. All four were indicted with death penalty specifications. All have pleaded not guilty to the charges alleged against them.
The next pretrial for Edward Wagner is scheduled for April 8.