- Associated Press - Friday, January 20, 2017

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - A request for payment of lost wages made on behalf of a relative of a man killed in last year’s massacre of eight people has been rejected by a crime victim compensation fund.

David Weisel had asked the Ohio Victims of Crime Compensation Program to repay wages he lost as he dealt with the killing of his brother-in-law Christopher Rhoden Sr. Rhoden was the father of three children, who also were killed, and the ex-husband of the children’s mother, Dana Rhoden, who was among those slain in an April 22 attack that remains unsolved.

Weisel had submitted forms to the program adding up to lost net wages of about $4,800.

A letter from Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s office to Weisel this month said that the law requires that payment be denied if there is a “preponderance of evidence” that the victim engaged in cultivating felony quantities of marijuana within 10 years of the crime that prompted the compensation claim, regardless of whether the victim was convicted.

“Specifically, information obtained from law enforcement indicates that Mr. Rhoden was operating a large-scale marijuana growing operation on his property with the purpose of distributing the marijuana,” the letter said.

The letter said Weisel may file a request for reconsideration. A telephone listing for Weisel could not immediately be found, and he couldn’t be reached for comment.

A spokeswoman for DeWine said she could not provide any additional comment beyond the letter to Weisel.

Payments of $22,500 from the fund were previously approved to pay for funerals for the Rhodens’ children: 20-year-old Clarence “Frankie” Rhoden, 19-year-old Hanna Rhoden and 16-year-old Christopher Rhoden Jr.

The program also paid $7,328 to help cover the costs of a funeral for 20-year-old Hannah Gilley, the fiancee of Frankie Rhoden, who also died in the shootings.

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