Pike County murders: Wagner matriarch wants off wrongful death lawsuit filed by Rhodens

After tragically losing two brothers and six other beloved family members, the Wagners filed a lawsuit against Rhoden for wrongful death and sought to prohibit them from profiting from the case in any way.

On that day, it was discovered that Kenneth Rhoden, who was 44 years old, Hanna May Rhoden, who was 19 years old, Gary Rhoden, who was 37 years old, Clarence “Frankie” Rhoden, who was 20 years old, Christopher Rhoden Jr., Who was 16 years old, Hannah “Hazel” Gilley, who was 20 years old, Dana Rhoden, who was 37 years old, and Christopher Rhoden Sr., Who was 40 years old, had all passed away.

Fredericka, the matriarch of the Wagner family, now desires to have her name removed from the legal case.

Through her attorneys, Fredericka said she did not know about her son’s plan to kill the Rhoden family and that she should not be held liable in the lawsuit because she did not help to cover it up or assist her family members in carrying out the killings.

In 2019, the state dismissed the obstruction and perjury accusations in the case, however, Fredericka was initially charged with a criminal offense. Prosecutors claimed that she had deceived the investigators and a grand jury regarding two bullet-resistant vests discovered in her residence.

Authorities suspect that the Wagners, at one point, may have had bulletproof vests when they sneaked into the homes of the Rhodens to commit the murders.

Fredericka informed investigators that she purchased the vests through Amazon because she was unable to find a verifiable record of purchase. She feared for her family’s safety after the Rhodens were murdered. This information was shared with a grand jury and investigators.

She subsequently confessed that she purchased them on eBay.

According to prosecutors, the charges against Fredericka were dropped after they said that the requirements for a speedy trial could not be met in her case. Ultimately, her attorney said that she had receipts showing that she bought the vests after the killings, verifying her involvement in the online history.

The trial is not anticipated to commence until sometime in 2024, George “Billy” Wagner, Fredericka’s son, is the final surviving relative accused of the homicides to face trial.

During Billy’s trial, Angela, Billy’s spouse, and Jake, his youngest offspring, both confessed to the homicides and, in return for the exclusion of capital punishment from the case, are obligated to give testimony.

Billy’s oldest son, George Wagner IV, stood trial in 2022 and was found guilty of all 22 counts leveled against him, including aggravated murder, burglary aggravated with evidence tampering, conspiracy, and other associated charges.

George was sentenced to life terms of eight consecutive years in prison, in addition to over 120 years in prison for the charges attached to firearm specifications, with the possibility that he will not be given parole.

A court proceeding is planned for the legal case on Thursday in Pike County.