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Last of 4 suspects pleads not guilty in Ohio family slayings

December 4, 2018
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George "Billy" Wagner is seen in an undated photo provided by the Butler County, Ohio, Jail. Wagner, a suspect in the 2016 slaying of eight family members, is back in Ohio, Monday, Nov. 19, 2018 after being arrested in Kentucky. (Butler County Jail via AP)

WAVERLY, Ohio (AP) — A man charged in the slayings of eight people from another family has pleaded not guilty in southern Ohio days after his wife and two adult sons did the same.

Forty-seven-year-old George “Billy” Wagner III acknowledged the 22 counts against him but said little else Tuesday in Pike County court.

The Wagners are charged in the 2016 shootings of seven adults and a teenager from the Rhoden family. An attorney who has represented the Wagners has said they’ll be vindicated.

Billy Wagner was held without bond, as were 26-year-old Edward “Jake” Wagner, 27-year-old George Wagner IV and 48-year-old Angela Wagner.

Their lawyers and authorities involved are prohibited from publicly discussing their cases.

Authorities have suggested a possible motive was a custody dispute over Jake Wagner’s daughter with victim Hanna Rhoden.

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