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By Elisha Fieldstadt
The Ohio man accused of killing his daughter's mother and seven family members with the help of his brother and parents pleaded not guilty to 23 counts on Tuesday.
Edward "Jake" Wagner, 26, was the first of his family to be taken to court in Pike County.
Authorities reported that a custody dispute between Wagner and his former girlfriend, Hanna Rhoden, was the motive behind his assassination in April 2016, as well as seven members of his family, including a teenager, on their marijuana farm. .
Wagner; his parents, Angela Wagner, 48 years old; George "Billy" Wagner III, 47 years old; and his brother, George Wagner IV, 27; all face charges of aggravated murder and the possibility of the death penalty. The Wagners also face charges of burglary, falsification and conspiracy.
Edward "Jake" Wagner faces another charge of illegal sexual behavior with a minor. The indictment indicated that he and Hanna Rhoden had a relationship at the age of 20, when she was 15 years old. The judge in his case ordered lawyers and authorities not to discuss the details of the case with the media.
Former George Wagner is to be brought to court on December 4, Angela Wagner on Thursday, and his other son is due to appear on Wednesday.