The Ohio Controlling Board has approved the Ohio Attorney General’s request to transfer available and unused appropriations for Pike County’s capital cases from Fiscal Year 2020 to Fiscal Year 2021, State Representative Shane Wilkin (R-Hillsboro) announced on Monday.

According to Wilkin’s office, the available, unused funds total $783,891.60.

“Pike County has faced many hardships while attending to the Pike County Capital Case,” said Wilkin. “The transference of these unused funds to next fiscal year as well as paying current bills is a valuable aspect in assuring justice is served with proper defense and prosecution. Allocations of funds like this lessen the financial strains on local offices within Pike County.”

Pike County is currently facing massive expenses related to the four capital cases of George Wagner III, Angela Wagner, George Wagner IV, and Edward Jacob Wagner, who were arrested in November 2018 and charged with murder in the 2016 shooting deaths of eight members of the Rhoden and Gilley families.

According to the request by Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost to the Ohio Controlling Board, Am. Sub. H. B. No. 166, which created a Fiscal Year 2020-2021 operating budget for the state, provided up to $1,000,000 in funding in FY20, subject to Controlling Board approval, to defray the costs of ongoing capital case litigation in Pike County.

Also on Monday, George Wagner III”s attorney, Mark C. Collins, filed a motion with the Pike County Court of Common Pleas to grant Wagner “a reasonable bond, with appropriate restrictions in place.” Wagner’s next pre-trial hearing is scheduled for Monday, June 22 at 1:30 p.m.

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