James Manley, 40, of Pike County, Ohio and brother to Dana Rhoden, one of eight family members slain in a single night in April 2016, was arrested on May 16, 2017, on two criminal charges, and is in court today for his arraignment on charges of tampering with evidence and vandalism for allegedly destroying a GPS device investigators had placed on his truck in April 2017.
Update May 17, 2017 8:30 p.m.: James Manley appeared in Pike County court for an arraignment hearing today. Manley did not enter a plea and bond was set at $80K. Manley posted bail this evening and was released from jail. He is scheduled to return to court May 22.
James Manley, considered by law enforcement to be a witness in the ongoing investigation into the murders of eight members of the Rhoden family, including his sister, Dana Rhoden, and three of her children, turned himself into authorities on Tuesday, May 16, 2017, after learning that charges had been filed against him by Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader. Manley was then booked into jail in Chillicothe, Ross County, Ohio, where he was to appear in court this morning for hearing for the establishment of a bond.
The charges against Manley, one a third-degree felony and the other, a fifth-degree felony stem from a GPS tracking device state agents had placed on the frame of his pickup truck on April 22, 2017. The last signal from that device came on April 28, 2017. When authorities visited the Manley home on Union Hill Road, about a mile from where the murders took place, James Manley’s father, Leonard Manley, told them the GPS device was no longer on his son’s truck.
April Manley, James’ wife, told authorities that her husband had “smashed it on the sidewalk,” referring to the GPS device, after he had found it on his truck.
James Manley is considered a witness in the case because he had discovered his sister, Dana Rhoden, dead, along with several other family members, on April 22, 2017. In addition to Dana Rhoden, 37, victims of the mass murder included her former husband, Christopher Rhoden Sr., 40; their three children, Clarence “Frankie” Rhoden, 20, Hanna Rhoden, 19, and Christopher Rhoden Jr., 16; Clarence Rhoden’s fiancee, Hannah Gilley, 20; Kenneth Rhoden, 44, brother to Christopher Rhoden Sr.; and Gary Rhoden, 38, cousin to Christopher Rhoden Sr.
Little information about the ongoing investigation has been made public by either Attorney General Mike DeWine or Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader in the 13 months since the murders. Authorities have shared that they believe the victims knew their killer or killers, that more than one person was likely involved, and that the responsible parties were likely local to the southwest Ohio area.
Details of the warrant that allowed state agents to place the GPS device on James Manley’s truck stated that the vehicle was used in the commission of a crime or was in the possession of another person with the intent of using the vehicle in the commission of a crime. The Rhoden murders are not mentioned specifically, but instead the warrant referred to an “aggravated murder case.”
The pickup truck that James Manley now owns is not the same one that he owned at the time of the murders. His current truck was purchased March 2, 2017.
A reward of $10,000 is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those involved in the Rhoden family murders. Anyone having any information about the case is being urged to call either the Pike County Sheriff’s Office (740-947-2111) or the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (855-BCI-OHIO).
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