Newcomb 1

Rita Newcomb (left) testifies during a motion hearing in the Pike County Court of Common Pleas in September. Her trial was set to begin this week but has been delayed.

The jury trial for Rita Newcomb has been delayed again.

This is the third time that the trial for Newcomb, 66, has been continued. Her trial was originally scheduled for July 8 but was moved to Oct. 21. During a motion hearing on Oct. 7., it was announced that the trial would be rescheduled again due to the fact that BCI special agent Ryan Scheiderer would not be available during the Oct. 21 time period for the trial. At that hearing, Pike County Prosecuting Attorney Rob Junk indicated that Scheiderer is the lead investigator in the case and an essential witness for the state.

On Nov. 15, Pike County Court of Pleas Judge Randy Deering denied the state’s request for a continuance of the trial.

On Monday, however, potential jurors gathered at the Pike County Courthouse, only to be sent home due to a trial again postponed. Reportedly, both prosecution and defense agreed to this continuance.

A motion hearing has been scheduled for Dec. 2 at 1 p.m.

Newcomb faces charges of obstructing justice and perjury in addition to three counts of forgery related to the Rhoden murder cases.

Newcomb’s daughter, Angela Wagner, 49, was among four members of the Wagner family who were arrested on Nov. 13, 2018, and charged with the murders of eight members of the Rhoden and Gilley families in Pike County on April 22, 2016. Also arrested and charged in the murders were Angela’s husband, George “Billy” Wagner III, 48, and their two sons, George Wagner IV, 28, and Edward “Jake” Wagner, 27.

Email at; follow on Twitter @NewsWatchman.

Load comments