Odd Development in Ohio Massacre Case

Cops say victim's brother destroyed GPS device
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 17, 2017 2:29 AM CDT
Massacre Victim's Brother Charged With Evidence Tampering
A private property sign guards a garage near the trailer where the bodies of Dana Rhoden and her children, Chris Rhoden Jr., and Hanna Rhoden, were found.   (AP Photo/Andrew Welsh-Huggins)

Ohio state authorities have charged the brother of one of the eight relatives slain in an unsolved massacre with tampering with evidence and vandalism over the destruction of a GPS tracking device they placed on his truck. The state attorney general's office accused James Manley of destroying the device being used in the investigation of the slayings, the AP reports. The charges "are not uncommon when a witness destroys such a device used in a government investigation," the attorney general's office said Tuesday. Manley is the brother of victim Dana Rhoden. Seven adults and one teenage boy from the Rhoden family were slain in April 2016. They were found shot at four homes near Piketon.

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. A search warrant in the case indicated that investigators believe the truck was used in connection with an aggravated murder or by a person intending such a crime, but did not specify a connection to the Rhoden investigation. The suspect's father, Leonard Manley, who also lost three grandchildren in the massacre, tells the Cincinnati Enquirer that his son and his eldest daughter were close and there is no way he could be involved in the killings. He says it seems investigators are "grasping at straws." (Last month, police said fear is holding back witnesses in the case.)

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