Pike County murders: Grandmother in talks about revenge against DeWine, state says

A woman accused of helping cover up the 2016 Pike County murders reportedly took part in a conversation with the four suspected killers about getting revenge if they were arrested.

Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and a special agent in the AG’s office, according to prosecutors were possible targets discussed by Fredericka Wagner and the murder suspects.

“I'm not suggesting she would become a hit man or anything of that nature but the state does have concerns about her participation in those conversations or potential coordinating any of those sorts of efforts,” said an official with the AG’s office.

Fredericka Wagner was in court Thursday with Rita Newcomb where they pleaded not guilty to perjury and obstruction of justice charges.

Newcomb was also charged with forgery.

Bond was set at $100,000 for Fredericka Wagner and at $50,000 — with 10 percent allowed — for Newcomb.

If either posts bond they will be under house arrest.

Wagner did post bond Thursday afternoon, according to the Pike County Sheriff’s Office.

Newcomb, who cares for her 86-year-old mother, would be on house arrest at her mother’s home.

Prosecutors asked for bond to be set at $200,000 for both of them, saying that Fredericka Wagner has access to “sizable amounts of money” and that Newcomb “lied under oath” to a grand jury.

The prosecution also said Newcomb forged that documents that are at the “epicenter of this case.”

On Tuesday, George “Billy” Wagner III, 47; his wife, Angela Wagner, 48; and their sons, George Wagner IV and Edward “Jake” Wagner, 27 and 26; were arrested for the Rhoden killings.

Fredericka Wagner is the mother of Billy Wagner and Newcomb is Angela Wagner’s mother.

In a June 2017 interview with the Dayton Daily News, after a search warrant was issued at her Flying W Farm, Fredericka Wagner  denied that her family was involved in the crime.

“They’re just looking in the wrong place,” she said. “They know who did it and they don’t want to go after them.”

“They have nothing. Their searches have turned up zilch. Nothing. And they aren’t going to either because Jake had nothing to do with it.”


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