By JO INGLES
Ohio’s attorney general has given a down payment to officials in southern Ohio’s Pike County to help them prosecute the people accused of murdering eight members of one family in 2016. And the state is promising to help with more money in the high-profile case.
Four members of the Wagner family stand accused of murdering eight members of the Rhoden family. The trials, which could result in the death penalty for some, could cost millions of dollars. Attorney General Dave Yost gave Pike County $100,000 to start the prosecutions and is pledging more as the trials progress. He says the state needs to help small counties like Pike that are financially unable to prosecute these types of cases on their own.
“The fact of the matter is there are big differences in resources available to different counties,” Yost says.
A bill is being drafted that will be designed to help smaller counties with expensive cases. Authorities received more than a thousand tips, conducted hundreds of interviews and searched for suspects as far away as Alaska before making the four arrests.