Brother of victim in unsolved Ohio massacre appears in court

Barsaba Taglieri
Mag 18, 2017

The brother of an OH massacre victim has been charged with evidence tampering and vandalism in the investigation into the murders of eight Rhoden family members in Pike County a year ago.

The trailer was taken from one of multiple sites that authorities searched late last week.

Authorities have executed several dozen search warrants in the investigation. Bernie Brown owns property in Peebles where the trailer had been stored and says its owners needed a place to keep household items for a bit after recently selling their Adams County farm.

Whatever significance the trailer might have hasn't been publicly disclosed. He is charged with one count of tampering with evidence, a felony of the third degree and one count of vandalism, a felony of the fifth degree.

James Manley appeared in court this morning and waived the reading of charges related to his alleged destruction of a Global Positioning System device installed by investigators on his truck.

In a major development in the year-long murder mystery of the Rhoden family, authorities have charged a family member with tampering with evidence, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced Tuesday afternoon, marking the first arrest in the investigation.

An agent with the state Bureau of Criminal Investigation placed the device on James Manley's truck on April 22, according to his arrest warrant, timestamped Tuesday. Agents went to James Manley's home Monday to deliver a copy of the warrant and were meet by Leonard Manley, who told them the device wasn't on the truck.

Relatives told agents for the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations that Manley found the Global Positioning System on his truck and smashed it on the sidewalk, according to the warrant request signed by BCI Maj.

Leonard Manley told WCPO he has no idea where the Global Positioning System device is, and he claimed his son did nothing wrong. The warrant was issued April 21.

Leonard Manley, whose adult daughter and grandchildren were slain and who is related to the driver of the tracked truck, said he wants justice, but it seems to him that investigators are "grasping at straws".

We spoke to Leonard Manley the father of James Manley about the proceedings he stated,"It's one thing, you know, you lose eight people, and then they turn around and try to blame your boy for it".

Christopher Rhoden Sr., 40, Dana Rhoden, 37, Frankie Rhoden, 20, Hanna Rhoden, 19, Christopher Rhoden Jr., 16, Gary Rhoden, 38, Kenneth Rhoden, 44 and Hannah Gilley, 20, were found shot to death in four homes near Piketon in April 2016.

The charges do not implicate James Manley in the deaths, nor does the warrant name him as a suspect in the deaths of his sister, her ex-husband and their three children and three other family members.

PIKETON, Ohio- A man is facing charges in connection with the Pike County murder investigation.

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