George Wagner IV’s lawyer subpoenas Jake Wagner’s lawyer’s notes
WAVERLY, Ohio (WXIX) - George Wagner IV’s attorney has subpoenaed Jake Wagner’s attorney’s notes, according to a copy of the subpoena.
It orders Jake Wagner’s attorney to appear at 9 a.m. Friday before Pike County Common Pleas Court Judge Randy Deering and “Please bring your file and interview notes of Edward (Jake) Wagner concerning the involvement of him and his co-defendants in the homicides” in the case against Jake Wagner.
Reached for comment on the phone, Gregory Myers of Columbus declined to comment.
We also reached out to George Wagner’s lawyer, Richard Nash of Chillicothe, but we have not heard back.
We will update this story once we do.
Lawyers have attorney-client privileges to keep such information such as notes private, so it’s not clear why Nash is requesting such records.
The subpoena between the brothers’ lawyers comes as Jake Wagner faced his brother in court all week, testifying against him in a murder trial approaching the two-month mark.
The trial is taking the day off Thursday due to a scheduling conflict with the judge.
It is set to resume a 9 a.m. Friday.
George Wagner’s attorneys are expected to continue their cross-examination of Jake Wagner.
They started to question him under oath late Wednesday afternoon after the state questioned him off camera for 2.5 days.
Jake Wagner confessed to shooting and killing five members of the Rhoden and Gilley families in April 2016. He said he also shot a sixth victim but did not shoot or kill the other two, Gary Rhoden and Kenneth Rhoden.
His entire family was indicted in the murders in November 2018
George Wagner IV is the first member of his family to go on trial. He and his father, Billy Wagner, are continuing to fight the charges.
Jake Wagner and his mother pleaded guilty to their roles last year. He has apologized and led investigators to the weapons and vehicles used in the killings.
As part of their plea deals, they must testify against George Wagner, 31.
In exchange, prosecutors have dropped the possibility of the death penalty and Jake Wagner has agreed to a sentence of eight life sentences without parole.
“We are fully satisfied,” Jake Wagner’s lawyer said at his April 2021 plea hearing. “He knows he’s going to die in prison without any judicial relief.”
On cross-examination Wednesday, George Wagner’s attorney, John Parker, told Jake Wagner: “You got the best plea deal in the state of Ohio.”
According to the confessions of Jake Wagner and his mother, George Wagner IV did not shoot anyone, court records show.
Still, the judge refused to dismiss eight counts of aggravated murder against George Wagner, too. Prosecutors say he can and should be convicted of the murder charges because he conspired with his family to kill and actively participated in the planning and cover up.
Wagners are accused of planning the execution-style murders of eight for months so he could have sole custody of his daughter, Sophia, born in 2015 to one of the victims, Hanna May Rhoden, 19.
The other victims are her father, Christopher Rhoden Sr., 40; his older brother, Kenneth Rhoden, 44; his cousin, Gary Rhoden, 38; his former wife, Dana Lynn Rhoden, 37, and their sons: Clarence “Frankie” Rhoden, 20, Christopher Rhoden Jr., 16, and Frankie’s fiancé, Hannah “Hazel” Gilley, 20.
Jake Wagner, 28, has testified that he and his father did the shooting that night.
His brother didn’t fire a single shot, he said on the stand this week.
In fact, Jake Wagner said his brother froze so he took his SKS rifle from him and shot Chris Rhoden Sr.
He did testify that his brother helped him plan the massacre, buy items for it and hide the evidence.
Still, the judge has refused to dismiss eight counts of aggravated murder against George Wagner, too. Prosecutors say he can and should be convicted of the murder charges because he conspired with his family to kill and actively participated in the planning and cover-up.
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