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Accused Ashland serial killer withdraws insanity plea

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ASHLAND, Ohio– The man accused of killing at least four women in Ashland and Richland counties is no longer pleading insanity.

Shawn Grate, 40, is charged with more than 20 counts, including murder, kidnapping and abuse of a corpse.

Officials with the Ashland County Common Pleas Court said during Grate’s hearing on Friday, his attorney withdrew the plea of not guilty by reason of insanity. Grate, who typically appears in court via Skype, was not in attendance.

The suspected serial killer was arrested on Sept. 13 after a woman called police from a house on Covert Court in Ashland and said she was being held captive. Officers rescued the woman and found two more bodies.

Autopsy results indicate those two women were strangled. They were found with clothing around their necks.

Investigators said Grate admitted killing at least two additional women, whose bodies were found near Mansfield in June and Marion in 2007.

His trial is scheduled to begin in November.

More stories on Shawn Grate here