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Trial date set for George Wagner IV in Rhoden murders after brother's plea

A judge announced the April 4 trial date for George Wagner IV during his brief court appearance Monday in Pike County.
Credit: WBNS-10TV

A trial has been scheduled next spring for a man who along with his brother and parents was charged in the slayings of eight members of the Rhoden family.

A judge announced the April 4 trial date for George Wagner IV during his brief court appearance Monday in Pike County.

The 29-year-old has pleaded not guilty in the 2016 slayings of seven adults and a teenage boy from the Rhoden family.

His younger brother, 28-year-old Edward “Jake” Wagner, pleaded guilty two months ago and agreed to cooperate in the cases against his family under a deal to help all four avoid the death penalty.

Prosecutors alleged the Wagner family planned the killings for months, motivated by a custody dispute between Jake and one of the victims.

Their daughter and two other young children at the scenes of the shootings weren’t hurt.

Trial dates haven’t been set for the brothers’ parents, George “Billy” Wagner III and Angela Wagner, who also pleaded not guilty.