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Pike County Murders: Body cam shows George ‘Billy’ Wagner’s arrest

Published: Monday, December 03, 2018 @ 3:40 PM

Body cam: Arrest of George 'Billy' Wagner

Officers had their guns drawn on Pike County murders suspect Billy Wagner during his arrest, according to video first obtained by News Center 7 and the Dayton Daily News.

Billy Wagner, 47, faces 22 criminal charges in connection to the 2016 killings of eight people in Pike County, including the mother of his granddaughter. Eight of the counts allege aggravated murder — charges for which, if convicted, he could be put to death.

Billy Wagner was arrested Nov. 13 in Lexington, Kentucky. He is scheduled for arraignment Tuesday afternoon in Pike County Common Pleas Court. His attorney has declined to comment.

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MORE: Father charged in Pike County murders had past brushes with law

News Center 7 and the Dayton Daily News first obtained the body camera video from the Lexington Police Department under Kentucky's Open Records Act. Initially, the department refused to release the video, but later agreed to release the video after receiving permission from Ohio investigators, the department said in a letter.

Ohio investigators followed Wagner in an unmarked pickup truck to an equine hospital near Lexington records show.

"They said he's wanted out of Ohio for eight murder warrants," a Kentucky state trooper dispatcher said to another dispatcher in a recorded phone call. "The silver Chevy with Ohio plates, he's parked down the road so he can see, but they're waiting for marked units before they approach."

Also charged are Billy Wagner’s wife, Angela Wagner, 48, and their two sons, Edward “Jake” Wagner, 26, and George Wagner IV, 27. All pleaded not guilty and could face the death penalty, if convicted.

Jake Wagner also pleaded not guilty to allegations of unlawful sexual conduct with Hanna Rhoden, one of the murder victims with whom he fathered a child.

Also charged in connection to the case are Billy Wagner’s mother, Fredericka Wagner, 76, and Angela Wagner’s mother, Rita Jo Newcomb, 65. Both have pleaded not guilty to accusations they lied to a grand jury and helped cover up the killings. Newcomb additionally pleaded not guilty to forgery charges.

Read more coverage:

» Pike County murders: 8 deaths and multiple arrests were tied to one key factor — child custody

» Pike County murders: Grandmother on house arrest asks to leave Wagner farm

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