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Man pleads guilty in fatal shootings of 8 from Ohio family

These undated file images released by the Ohio Attorney General's office, show, top row from left, George "Billy" Wagner III and Angela Wagner, and bottom row from left, George Wagner IV and Edward "Jake" Wagner. The four members of the Wagner family were charged in the 2016 slayings of eight members of the Rhoden family in rural Ohio. Tony Rhoden Sr., a man who lost several relatives in the mass slaying, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the four suspects in the killings. (Ohio Attorney General's office via AP, File)

(AP) — A man has pleaded guilty in the murders of his child’s mother and seven other members of her family in Piketon in southern Ohio.

Edward “Jake” Wagner pleaded guilty to 23 counts in Pike County court on Thursday, the fifth anniversary of when the shootings were discovered.

The deal spares him from a potential death penalty. He agreed to cooperate in the cases against his parents and brother, who also are charged in the Rhoden family slayings.

Wagner wasn’t immediately sentenced, but his lawyers acknowledged in court that the plea means he will die in prison. They said he understands that.

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