A man has been sentenced to life in prison without parole after being found guilty of killing eight people in Pike County, Ohio, CNN affiliate WLWT reported.
George Wagner IV was sentenced Monday by Judge Randy Deering after being convicted of murder in the shooting deaths of seven members of the Rhoden family.
The victims were Hanna May Rhoden, 19; Kenneth Rhoden, 44; his brother Christopher Rhoden Sr., 40; and Christopher’s ex-wife, Dana Rhoden, 37. Also killed were two of the Rhodens’ other children, Clarence “Frankie” Rhoden, 20; Christopher Rhoden Jr., 16; and Gary Rhoden, 38, a cousin.
Hannah Gilley, who was engaged to Clarence Rhoden, was also killed.
In addition to eight counts of aggravated murder, Wagner was convicted of tampering with evidence and conspiracy in November.
During sentencing, Deering described the murders as “the worst form of the offense.”
Prosecutors hadn’t disclosed a motive at the time but alluded to the custody of a child that may have played “a role in this case.”
“No sentence that the court may impose in this case would right the wrong that was inflicted upon the victims and the families. Murder is an irreversible act. And although time may alleviate the pain of loss, it has not, obviously, at this point – and may never,” Deering added.
The massacre rattled the small community of Piketon, home to about 2,000 residents and located roughly 80 miles east of Cincinnati. The Wagners are from South Webster, about a 30-mile drive southeast of Piketon.
At one of the four crime scenes, police found a 4-day-old baby next to his slain mother. That child, along with a 6-month-old and a 3-year-old, survived.
Members of the Rhoden family also spoke before the sentencing was announced.
“My baby girl I miss you beyond words. Another life taken too soon, but will never be forgotten,” Andrea Shoemaker, the mother of Hannah Gilley, said in court.
“I pray for you not to live. I want you to die. Just like you and your evil family did my baby girl,” Shoemaker said.
Gov. Mike DeWine, who was the Ohio’s attorney general when Wagner was arrested in the killings, released a statement after the sentencing.
“George Wagner IV will never live another day outside of prison – a sentence that’s another step toward justice for the Rhodens, Gilleys, & Manleys. I spoke with family members this morning, commending them for their courage & their patience as they waited 6+ years for this day,” the statement said.
CNN’s Raja Razek contributed to this report.