Wife of man convicted for shooting five members of Ohio family felt like she was ‘living in Nazi Germany’ after being accused of molesting his daughter, wire taps show – Her husband, his brother and their parents are charged with executing family of eight
Beth Ann Wagner’s ex-husband, Edward ‘Jake Wagner, 29, as well as his brother and their parents were accused of executing eight members of the Rhoden family, long term neighbors in Pike County, Ohio
The Wagner’s are accused of killing Jake’s baby’s mother Hannah Rhoden, 19, and seven of her family members in 2018 during a custody dispute
Beth Ann says she felt like she was ‘living in Nazi Germany’ after being accused of ‘molesting his daughter’, newly released wire taps show
In a phone conversation in May 2018, Jake Wagner’s then-wife Beth Ann admitted to him that she felt trapped while living with his parents
His mother Angela, 52, had accused her of molesting Jake’s daughter Sophia, two, and Jake threatened to kill her if it was true, she testified
‘I feel like I’m living in Nazi Germany,’ she told Jake, now-29, in May 2018
Jake was handed eight full life sentences without the option of parole in 2021 after agreeing to a plea deal with no possibility of the death penalty for himself and his family members
He pled guilty to 23 felony charges, including eight related to murder
His mother Angela Wagner pled guilty to several counts of aggravated burglary, tampering with evidence and other charges
The wife of a man accused, alongside his brother and parents, in the massacre of his daughter’s mother and seven members of her family in Ohio, said she felt like she was ‘living in Nazi Germany’ after her his family accused her of molesting her husband’s daughter.
Beth Ann Wagner was married to truck driver, Edward ‘Jake’ Wagner, now-29, who took a plea deal in April 2021 for shooting five of the victims.
In a phone conversation in May 2018, Beth Ann Wagner’s told her then-husband that she felt trapped while living with his parents while he was on the road: ‘I feel like I’m living in Nazi Germany,’ she told Jake,
Beth Ann testified last month that Jake’s mother Angela Wagner, 52, ran the house and had accused her of inappropriately touching Jake’s two-year-old daughter, Sophia.
She also testified that her husband threatened to ‘string me up in the barn, beat me to death with a baseball bat, bulldoze the barn, burn it down, and hunt down and kill my family.’
The Wagner family also accused the men who were allegedly dating Sophia’s biological mother Hannah Rhoden, 19, of molesting her.
The Wagner family has been accused of killing Rhoden and her seven members of her family after her and Jake had a custody dispute.
Jake and Angela accepted plea deals and have to testify against George IV, 31. Meanwhile, George ‘Billy’ Wagner, 50, is expected to go on trial next year after himself and his eldest son pled not guilty.
George IV is said to have not fired a single bullet, but was heavily involved in the preparation and cover-up of the alleged murders, his brother testified.
In a separate phone call between Jake and Angela in 2018 revealed the grandmother, who watched Sophia and her other son’s child Bulvine, had the children call her ‘mommy.’
‘You did a really good job, Jake,’ Angela angrily joked in the May 2018 call.
When asked by her son what he did wrong, she replied: ‘Beth is her mommy, I’m her grandmother. Beth didn’t do anything wrong to her ever, it was just Sophie saying that…and she loves Beth more than me and she believes Beth over me because I’m just her grandmother.’
She told her son he had ‘done enough damage’ after allegedly revealing to the children that Angela was their grandmother, which lead to George IV’s son also asking questions.
In a separate phone call overheard between the Jake and George IV revealed the latter called Beth Ann a ‘whore’ and insinuated that the younger brother believed his wife over his mother about the molestation accusations.
‘You will not insult my wife,’ Jake told his brother.
‘I will insult your wife,’ George IV had replied.
However, later in the conversation, Jake revealed to his brother that he didn’t trust Beth Ann to take care of his daughter if he went to jail.
‘Would I want her to have Sophia while I was in jail? No. I don’t trust that she would take, or be able to do the right thing with Sophia.’
The alleged killings largely revolve the idea that the two-year-old was being sexually abused, as she would return to the family with her genital area being ‘red’ and it had ‘strong odors.’
Angela testified last week that the murders were performed to protect the child, Fox 19 reported.
When asked why the family didn’t contact Child Services, Angela Wagner replied that said she didn’t know.
Hannah, alongside her father Christopher Rhoden Sr, 40, mother Dana Rhoden, 37, and brothers Clarence, 20, and Christopher Jr, 16, Clarence Rhoden’s fiancée, Hannah Gilley, 20, Christopher Sr.’s brother, Kenneth Rhoden, 44, and cousin Gary Rhoden, 38, were all shot execution-style while they slept across four different homes in rural Ohio in April 2016.
At the trial it was revealed that while the two families had been close for years, the Wagners as being obsessed with gaining control over the child that Jake Wagner had with Hanna Rhoden.
Although the Wagner family had pressured Hanna Rhoden to sign away custody of her 3-year-old daughter, she allegedly vowed in a Facebook message sent four months before the massacre that “they will have to kill me first.”
Jake Wagner, who said he feared his daughter might suffer abuse, testified that comment from Hanna Rhoden was his “tipping point” when he decided Hanna had to die.
He said the other intended victims were Hanna’s brothers Frankie and Chris Rhoden and their father, Chris Rhoden Sr. The other four victims were killed because they could have been witnesses, Jake Wagner testified.
George Wagner IV, was with his brother and his father when they drove to three separate locations where all eight victims were killed, went inside with the pair and helped his brother move two of the bodies.
Family matriarch Angela Wagner also revealed in her testimony that the idea for the mass murder came from her husband Billy, as he feared they would seek revenge if Jake killed his baby’s mother.
Angela said that her younger son had wanted to kill his child’s mother, Hannah, but that her husband objected because he believed the woman’s family would seek revenge.
‘”They’ll know, and then they come for Jake. They’d shoot him, if not all of us,”‘ Angela Wagner said her husband had told her.
He also said the rest of the woman’s family ‘”had to be murdered,”‘ she testified.
She accepted a plea deal so she would one day be able to see her grandchildren. The grandmother will be around 80 years old when she is released.
Jake took the stand earlier this month to graphically detail how he shot five people and wounded a sixth. He also testified that his father killed the others and that his brother George IV never fired a single shot but had extensively participated in the preparation and cover-up.
Jake was handed eight full life sentences without the option of parole in 2021 after agreeing to a plea deal with no possibility of the death penalty for himself and his family members.
He pled guilty to 23 felony charges, including eight of murder, while his mother pled guilty to several counts of aggravated burglary, tampering with evidence and other charges.
George IV is the first person to go on trial for the killings and he has taken most of the blame for the fall, his mother said. George IV faces the death penalty, if convicted.
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