By Associated Press - Saturday, April 6, 2019

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - The Ohio House has passed legislation that could help cover the anticipated multimillion-dollar cost of prosecuting the potential death-penalty cases of four relatives charged in the slayings of eight members from another family.

The bill is aimed at helping counties with smaller budgets deal with the costs of prosecuting capital cases and ensuring defendants have legal representation. Counties facing such costs could get financial help if a legislative panel that oversees certain spending approves their requests.

It could immediately benefit Pike County, where four members of the Wagner family have pleaded not guilty in the 2016 Rhoden family slayings.

Pike County officials say they don’t have the money to bear the prosecution costs and keep up basic county services.

The legislation now goes to the Senate for consideration.

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