Rhoden trial opening statements

George Wagner IV, 30, stands with his attorneys, John P. Parker, left, and Richard M. Nash in Pike County Common Pleas Court in Waverly, Ohio, Monday September 12, 2022. He is charged with 22 counts, eight of them are aggravated murder, in connection with the murder of eight members of the Rhoden family on April 21-22, 2016 in Pike County. Underneath his vest, he’s wearing a stun vest.

A juror’s illness forced court to be canceled on Thursday. Sept. 29. That juror has now been replaced by an alternate and the case moved forward Friday morning.

One witness that took the stand Friday was Corey Holdren. Holdren was the boyfriend of victim Hanna May Rhoden at the time of her death. Holdren testified that the newborn child found in bed with Hanna Rhoden was not the child of Jake Wagner, even though Wagner believed he was the father. This was not the child that was involved in the custody dispute that Hanna Rhoden was having with Jake Wagner. Holdren told the story that the father of the child denied the child, and Holdren was planning on raising the child as his own.

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