In April 2016, Hanna Rhoden was assassinated in her bed. While she lay sleeping, a gunman entered her bedroom and shot her twice in the head. It was one of eight grisly murders in Ohio committed as part of a single-family scheme.
A former lover and father of one daughter with Rhoden, Jake Wagner, was convicted of murder. However, it was during the current trial for Wagner’s brother that new horrifying details of this complex murder scheme were divulged.
Jake’s younger brother, George, faces eight counts of aggravated murder. Prosecutors contend that George Wagner is the mastermind behind the deplorable string of killings. During his trial, testimony revealed that Jake Wagner left an infant child unharmed.
As he prepared to leave the scene, he repositioned the infant’s head so it “could nurse if she wanted to.” Special Prosecutor Angela Canepa revealed the graphic details of the crime scene.
Attorney Mike Allen drove to Cincinnati to hear opening statements. Allen said, “That’s about as bizarre and as despicable as you possibly can get.” The legal analyst and former prosecutor went on to say, “It’s one of the strangest things I have ever heard in a courtroom.”
Both Jake and his mother, Angela Wagner, have managed to avoid the death penalty. As a result of these two plea deals, all four members of the Wagner family will avoid the death penalty. Two other alleged co-conspirators are pending trial outcomes.
Both George Wagner IV and his father, George “Billy” Wagner, are still in the legal process. Sentencing for Jake and Angela is pending the outcomes of the two remaining trials. Hannah Rhoden wasn’t the only member of her family killed.
To extract revenge, the Wagner family conspired to murder her and seven other members of her family. It was a horrific massacre. The days of crime family executions may seem like something from the past, but a trial in Ohio has revealed such a beast still exists.