State gives Pike County money to help with Rhoden family massacre trials

Cincinnati Enquirer | Max Londberg

Ohio’s attorney general thinks the state should cover the majority of the costs for prosecuting four suspects charged in the slayings of eight people.

While the trials are at least a year away, officials in rural Pike County estimate they’ll spend well over $1 million on the cases involving the 2016 killings of the Rhoden family.

State Attorney General Dave Yost said Thursday that he doesn’t want the costs to cripple the small county, which has an annual budget of $10 million.

“It’s a budget wrecker for a small town,” Yost said. “Justice shouldn’t be a matter of how much pocketbook you have.”

Yost, Pike County officials and state lawmakers met Thursday. 

Ohio Sen. Bob Peterson and state Rep. Shane Wilkin discussed their interest in “reintroducing legislation that could allow the expenditure of state funds from the unappropriated balance of the general fund when a local government requires financial assistance for capital cases with multiple defendants and/or multiple victims,” Yost’s office said in a release.

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