A major development has occurred in the murders of eight members of the Rhoden family that occurred April 2016 in Piketon, Ohio. A witness has been charged with destruction of a GPS device as part of the investigation into those murders.
James Manley, 40, of Pike County has been 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.
Manley is alleged to have destroyed a GPS device used in the investigation. Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s Office says the charges Manley faces are not uncommon when a witness destroys such a device used in a government investigation.
A Cincinnati, Ohio news source released additional information on Tuesday, and when the Daily Times inquired of DeWine’s Office as to the validity of the information, Spokesperson for the Ohio Attorney General’s Office Dan Tierney, responded – “My understanding of the language from the article the Enquirer had, was that they were quoting from a search warrant. My understanding about that particular search warrant, because it has been requested from our office many times a day by various outlets, is that that search warrant is under seal. Because the search warrant is under seal, it’s under a court order prohibiting the information from being disclosed, I have to decline comment about the search warrant.”
Tierney reiterated the article was quoting from a search warrant. Though the Times obtained a copy of the search warrant, the decision was made not to release that information because of it’s sealed status.
Meanwhile, the Daily Times obtained a copy of the original complaint. Count one reads as follows:
“James Thomas Manley did unlawfully, on or about the 28th day of April, 2017, at the County of Pike and State of Ohio, knowing that an official proceeding or investigation is in progress, or is about to be or likely to be instituted, alter, destroy, conceal, or remove any record, document or thing with purpose to impair its value or availability as evidence in such proceeding or investigation, in violation of Section 2921. 12 (A) (1) of the Ohio Revised Code.”
Count two reads as follows:
“James Thomas Manley did unlawfully, on or about the 28th day of April, 2017, at the County of Pike and State of Ohio, knowingly cause serious physical harm to property that is owned, leased, or controlled by a government entity, in violation of Section 2909.05 (B) (2).”
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewisPDT.