On the 5th anniversary of the Rhoden murders in Pike County, one of the suspects in the case on Thursday, admitted to his role in the slayings during a court hearing.
The Columbus Dispatch reports that Jake Wagner's surprise plea in Pike County court was not listed on the public docket until moments before the hearing took place.
Pike County Prosecutor Rob Junk said the 28-year-old Wagner changed his plea and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors in the cases against his parents and older brother in exchange for taking the possibility of the death penalty off the table in his own case.
Investigators say Jake Wagner and his family killed Hanna Rhoden and seven of her family members in the midst of a heated custody battle over their infant child.
Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost today issued the following statement following the plea agreement filed in the case of Edward Jake Wagner:
“I am incredibly proud of our team at the Bureau of Criminal Investigation whose dedication, perseverance and expertise lead to today’s plea. The scope of this crime and subsequent investigation surpasses any other in Ohio’s history. The dedicated men and women of BCI rose to the challenge in the pursuit of justice for the victims — and never gave up. BCI’s work spans countless long nights, weeks and years and will continue until all responsible for these crimes are held accountable. Today's hearing finally brings some degree of closure to the surviving family members, and I pray that they might find peace in the face of this horror."