Tony Rhoden Sr. recently filed an unlawful death lawsuit over a 2016 shooting that resulted in the death of several of his family members.
An unlawful death lawsuit was recently filed in South Ohio for the deaths of eight people. The fatal shootings occurred four years ago and resulted in the lives of several relatives of Tony Rhoden. Sr. Rhoden said that in addition to filing the lawsuit, he also wanted to ensure that none of the six suspects “received any financial gain from the crime.” His lawsuit seeks unspecified economic and criminal damage.
Hammer statue in courthouse; Image courtesy of Pixabay, https://pixabay.com
Currently, two of the suspects have been charged with peripheral crimes. The other four are “awaiting trial in Pike County”. Commenting on the suit, Rhoden said, “Why do I think anyone should benefit from destroying other people’s lives?” Rhoden lost two brothers in the shooting, Gary Rhoden and Christopher Rhoden Sr. He added that “and money raised from advertising for the case should go to the surviving children of the victims”.
The shooting, which resulted in the death of seven adults and one teenager, took place in April 2016. The authorities only announced arrests in November 2018. As a result, surviving family members have “suffered and continue to suffer harm for the mental agony caused by the deaths,” according to the lawsuit filed in Pike County.
Columbus attorneys Brian Duncan and Adam Nemann, representing Rhoden, said, “We will do all we can to hold those responsible for these heinous acts accountable.”
At the moment it is unclear whether the suspects could receive compensation after their conviction, “such as the proceeds of a book or a film”. Ohio, like many other states, has a “Son of Sam” law that “prevents convicted criminals from benefiting financially from their crimes.”
The defendants in the most recent lawsuit are six members of the Wagner family who were arrested in November 2018 and charged with shooting. Authorities speculate that the shooting may have been the result of a custody battle between the Wagner and Rhoden families. According to the lawsuit, one of the suspects, “Edward ‘Jake’ Wagner, the former boyfriend of 19-year-old Hanna Rhoden, was one of the victims, and shared custody of their daughter.”
Prosecutors on the case eventually revealed that the Wagner family “spent months planning the murders, which took place on three trailers and a motor home near Piketon.” Tragically, many of the victims were shot multiple times in the head. Some also showed signs of bruising and beating. Fortunately, three children were unharmed. Depending on the lawsuit, the victims included:
“The 40-year-old Christopher Rhoden Sr .; his ex-wife, 37-year-old Dana Rhoden; their three children, Clarence “Frankie” Rhoden, 20, Christopher Jr., 16, and Hanna, 19; Clarence Rhoden’s fiancée, 20-year-old Hannah Gilley; Christopher Rhoden Sr.’s brother, 44-year-old Kenneth Rhoden; and one cousin, 38 year old Gary Rhoden. “
Relatives of 8 killed victims file unlawful death lawsuit
A man who lost 8 family members in an Ohio massacre files illegal death lawsuits against suspects