Ashland murder suspect pleads not guilty to death penalty charges

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ASHLAND, Ohio -- A man suspected of killing five women pleaded not guilty during an arraignment Thursday morning on death penalty charges in the murders of two victims.

A hearing was set for Oct. 31.

Shawn Grate, 40, was indicted last week on several charges including aggravated murder for the deaths of Stacey Stanley and Elizabeth Griffith.

He is a suspect in three other murders.

The case broke when a woman called police from a house on Covert Court in Ashland on Sept. 13. Officers rescued the victim and arrested Grate. They also found the bodies of Stanley and Griffith.

Police said Grate led them to a charred house on state Route 430 in Mansfield. The remains of a third victim were discovered behind the home.

Mansfield police said Grate is also cooperating with them in the 2015 death of Rebekah Leicy. Marion County Sheriff's detectives said he confessed to killing a woman, whose remains were found in 2007. She has not been identified.

Grate hasn't been charged in those two cases.

Continuing coverage here

Continuing coverage here.