Second suspect in murder of 8 family members on Ohio pot farm pleads not guilty


A second suspect in a mass killing of eight members of one family on an Ohio marijuana farm pleaded not guilty to eight counts of aggravated murder, among other charges, in court on Wednesday.

George Wagner IV, 27, pleaded not guilty to a total of 22 counts, including the eight counts of aggravated murder with death penalty specifications, in Pike County court in Ohio. A judge denied Wagner's request to be released on bail.

Wagner is accused of helping his brother and parents kill the mother of his niece and seven other members of the Rhoden family on April 22, 2016.

On Tuesday, George Wagner IV's brother, Edward "Jake" Wagner, 26, was the first of the family to be arraigned. He pleaded not guilty to 23 counts.

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A custody dispute between Edward "Jake" Wagner and his former girlfriend, Hanna Rhoden, is believed to be the motive behind the killings, according to authorities. Among the Rhoden family members killed was a teenager.

Edward "Jake" Wagner's charges include an additional charge of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor due to his relationship with Hanna Rhoden when she was 15 and he was 20.

The family patriarch, George Wagner, is due to be arraigned on Dec. 4. Angela Wagner, the mother of the suspects who have already been arraigned, will go before a judge on Thursday.

Originally published