Suspected Ashland serial killer indicted on 23 counts including murder, kidnapping


Shawn Grate (Photo courtesy: Ashland police)

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ASHLAND, Ohio– An Ashland County grand jury indicted suspected serial killer Shawn Grate on 23 counts.

Grate, 40, was already charged with two counts of murder and one count of kidnapping. He pleaded not guilty to all charges in court on Monday.

Thursday’s indictment includes two counts of aggravated murder, three counts of kidnapping, three counts of rape and three counts of burglary. These charges are related to the deaths of Stacey Stanley and Elizabeth Griffith, and the woman who was held captive and assault.

“These are some of the most horrific crimes I’ve seen in my fifteen years as a criminal prosecutor,” Ashland County Prosecutor Christopher Tunnell said in a statement Thursday afternoon. “Given these depraved actions and the gruesome evidence, I will be strongly recommending the death penalty if a jury finds this defendant guilty.”

Grate faces a maximum prison sentence of 166 years. His video arraignment is scheduled for Sept. 29.

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. That victim hasn’t been identified, but family members fear it’s the body of Candice Cunningham, who lived with Grate.

Mansfield police said Grate is 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

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