Closing arguments begin in Pike County murder trial




  • In US
  • 2022-11-28 23:54:09Z
  • By WHIO

After the jury spent a week off while the prosecution and defense argued procedural hearings in court, trial resumed Monday with closing arguments from the prosecution.

Eight members of the Rhoden and Gilley families died in 2016 when investigators said George along with his brother, mother and father killed them.

The mother and brother pleaded guilty, but two weeks ago on the stand, Wagner said he did not kill anyone.

>> PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Pike County murder trial: Prosecutors expected to no longer seek death penalty

Monday Special Prosecutor Angela Canepa stepped up to the podium and faced the jurors for her closing argument.

Our news partners at WCPO in Cincinnati reported she told jurors the motive for the murder was to protect George's niece Sophia from unconfirmed abuse from someone in the Rhoden family.

She also outlined the evidence investigators collected.

>> PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Jury hears opening statements in Pike County murder trial

"Very strong circumstantial evidence. Somebody, who either lived there or at least fired a weapon at 260 Peterson Road, had the same gun that killed five of our eight victims," Canepa said.

George will not face the death penalty if the jury convicts him.

Prosecutors took the death penalty off the table last year when his brother and mother agreed to testify against him.

The defense will be able to present their closing arguments Tuesday morning when court reconvenes at 8:30 a.m.



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