WAVERLY, Ohio – Lawyers for George Wagner IV will present their closing arguments Tuesday in his murder trial, now in its 13th week in the Pike County Common Pleas Court.
On Monday, Special Prosecutor Angela Canepa delivered a four-and-half-hour closing statement, starting at 9:15 am and concluding at 3 pm She told the jurors that Wagner IV lied when, during two days of testimony in his own behalf, he denied involvement in the 2016 homicides of eight people in Pike and Scioto counties.
When she questioned Wagner IV, she said, “I got a whole lot of ‘I don’t remember.'” The defendant could remember details about minor events but “he said he didn’t remember a whole lot of things that mattered. “
Wagner IV’s brother Edward “Jake” Wagner and mother Angela Wagner told the truth during their testimony, Canepa said, by both putting Wagner IV at the four different crime scenes the night and early morning hours of April 21-22, 2016.
“The family has spoken,” Canepa told the judges. “Jake and Angela have told you everything this defendant did that night.”
On Tuesday, one of Wagner IV’s two attorneys, John P. Parker and Richard M. Nash Jr., will deliver a closing for the defense. Nash presented the defendant’s opening statement on Sept. 12. The prosecution then gets a second turn, to seize any of the defense’s closing.
After that, Judge Randy Deering will read jury instructions into the public record. As of last week, his draft ran more than 150 pages.
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On Monday, Deering informed the jury that the prosecution agreed to remove death penalty as a possible sentence if they found Wagner IV guilty. The state made that agreement in 2021 when Jake and Angela Wagner changed their pleas to guilty with the promise that none of the Wagners would face execution if convicted.
Deering also told the jurors they will not be questioned when they receive the case. Instead, they will deliberate in a first-floor jury room in the courthouse in Waverly.
Deliberation could begin late Tuesday or Wednesday.
This story will be updated.