First suspect pleads not guilty in Ohio family slayings of 8

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WAVERLY, Ohio — The first of four family members charged with killing eight people from another Ohio family has pleaded not guilty to aggravated murder and other charges in the potential death penalty case.

Twenty-six-year-old Edward “Jake” Wagner acknowledged the 23 counts against him but said little else Tuesday in Pike County court. He’s being held without bond.

(Photo Credit: Ohio AG)

Wagner, his parents and his brother are charged in the 2016 shootings of seven adults and a teenager from the Rhoden family.

(Photo Credit: Ohio AG)

The Wagners will be arraigned over the next week. An attorney who’s represented them has said they’ll be vindicated.

Authorities say a custody dispute was a possible motive. Jake Wagner shared a daughter with one of the victims.

The judge says he’s prohibiting lawyers and authorities involved from publicly discussing Wagner’s case.

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