Is he telling the truth or do you think he is covering up?
A man whose daughter and three grandchildren were among eight family members who were slaughtered as they slept today claimed a road rage incident may have been behind the massacre.
Leonard Manley, 64, said he was angered by law enforcement revelations that marijuana ‘growth operations’ were found at three of the four death scenes.
In an exclusive interview with Daily Mail Online, he said he knew nothing about the dope installations uncovered at the homes, but said his family had been riven by tensions and recriminations since the beginning of the year.
His daughter Dana Rhoden, 37, and her children Christopher Rhoden, 16, Hanna Rhoden, 19, Clarence ‘Frankie’ Rhoden, 20 were all murdered in last Friday’s massacre, along with four other relatives. One of them – Hannah Hazel Gilley, 20, was Frankie’s fiancee.
And he said that his grandson Christopher had been involved in a furious row a month ago with a woman on a highway, close to the scenes of the murders, he said.
The teenager was ‘slapped by a woman’ in the incident and his mother had insisted police file charges of assault at a court at Waverley, Ohio, he said.
He claimed the charges were dropped without explanation and that he had brought up the possible motive in a meeting with Piketon sheriff Charles Reader and Ohio attorney general Mike DeWine.
It was DeWine who confirmed the marijuana discovery.
Manley said the officials had not given the consideration to the road rage retribution that he had hoped for.
Raising his fist and putting his forefinger onto his thumb in the shape of a zero, he said: ‘That’s what they gave me back…they didn’t want to hear nothing.’
He added: ‘I asked the sheriff’s department about the incident that happened a month ago about my grandson when a 40-year-old woman…hit him in the face.
‘He had bruising all down his face.’
He said his daughter Dana, Christopher’s mother, went to court, but the case did not result in convictions against the offender.
But threats were made afterwards against his daughter and his son, he said.
The threats had been recorded on a cell phone and would be made available to the investigators, he said.
Detectives are following several lines of inquiry including claims that bitterness against one of the victims involving a $3,000 demolition derby car may have fueled tensions.
They disclosed the discovery of marijuana cultivation at three of the four crime scenes.
It was confirmed that there were two pit bulls in one of the houses and that in another chickens were being bred for illicit cock fighting and gambling operations.
But asked if his family was made up of drug dealers, Manley, a tree feller, replied: ‘No.’
He added that his grandson made a living by working on cars and his daughter was not involved in drugs at all.
‘I didn’t know anything about it [drugs]. We were a loving family.’
Fighting back tears, he said: ‘My daughter would give you the shirt off her back. Everybody loved her. She didn’t deserve this.
‘She loved her kids. She would have died for them. She worked everyday.’