Prior coverage above: Pike County Murders: 1 year later
PIKE COUNTY, Ohio (WDTN) — A date has been set for the Wagner family patriarch’s high-profile murder trial. The question of where it will take place still remains.
George “Billy” Wagner III, accused of murdering eight members of the Rhoden family in 2016 alongside the rest of his immediate family, was back in court Wednesday as Judge R. Alan Corbin set his trial date for May 6, 2024.
According to our partners at WLWT, Wagner’s attorneys explained why they think the trial should be held elsewhere, citing a U.S. Supreme Court doctrine involving “presumed prejudice.”
WLWT reported lawyers argued that “too many people in Pike County are aware of what Wagner is accused of doing.”
“We need a roadmap for a situation like this,” defense attorney Mark Collins reportedly said. “The state of Ohio says, ‘Hey, you’re supposed to try to sit a jury.’ So when you have the Supreme Court of the United States saying something different, we believe we should follow that — because it’s 2010 and the technology and everything since the ’70s has changed so much.”
Judge Corbin has yet to rule on the attorneys’ request.