State Controlling Board Releases Funding to Pike County for Wagner Trials

Pike County is now set to receive funding to help cover the cost of the impending Rhoden family murders case. The State Controlling Board on Monday approved the release of $63,525 to help the County fund the trials of the four members of the Wagner family charged with the murders.

State Representative Shane Wilkin (R-Hillsboro), a member of the State Controlling Board who helped secure funding for Pike County and who authored separate legislation to help small communities cover the high cost of capital cases such as this, said state assistance for Pike County is absolutely critical.

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“The financial impact a major case like this can have on a small county is significant,” Wilkin said. “I appreciate the support of my colleagues on the State Controlling Board for Pike County as our local officials continue their work on this case.”

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The state budget approved by lawmakers this summer included $1 million to help Pike County with expenses associated with the case. Wilkin, along with State Representative John Rodgers (D-Mentor-on-the-Lake), have also proposed House Bill 85, which would create a process for any county facing the financial hardship of a high-cost murder case to seek state assistance. That legislation was approved by the House in April by a vote of 93-2. It is pending in the Ohio Senate.

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