Ashland prosecutor seeks death penalty against suspected serial killer

Shawn Grate, via Ashland County Sheriff's Office

ASHLAND, OH (WCMH) — The Ashland County prosecutor will seek the death penalty against a suspected serial killer.

Today, the Ashland County Grand Jury handed a down a 23 felony count indictment against Shawn M. Grate.

The charges including two counts of Aggravated Murder, each one of which would be punishable either by life imprisonment without parole or the death penalty. Additional charges include kidnapping, rape, burglary and gross abuse of a corpse.

In additional to the death penalty, the maximum prison sentence that could be given for conviction of all these crimes is 166 years.

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

No trial date has been announced. A video arraignment is scheduled for September 29.

Grate has waived his right to have his trial held within a set number of days.

The full list of felony counts are:

  1. Aggravated Murder of Elizabeth A. Griffith (F1)
  2. Second charge of Aggravated Murder of Elizabeth A. Griffith (F1)
  3. Kidnapping of Elizabeth A, Griffith (F1)
  4. Gross Abuse of the Corpse of Elizabeth A. Griffith (F5)
  5. Burglary of the residence of Elizabeth A. Griffith (F3)
  6. Tampering with Evidence (F3)
  7. Aggravated Murder of Stacey J. Hicks/Stanley (F1)
  8. Second charge of Aggravated Murder of Stacey J. Hicks/Stanley (F1)
  9. Kidnapping of Stacey J. Hicks, aka: Stacey J. Hicks/Stanley (F1)
  10. Second charge of Kidnapping of Stacey J. Hicks/Stanley (F1)
  11. Rape of Stacey J. Hicks/Stanley (F1)
  12. Aggravated Robbery of Stacey J. Hicks/Stanley (F1)
  13. Gross Abuse of the Corpse of Stacey J. Hicks/Stanley (F5)
  14. Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle of Stacey J. Hicks/Stanley (F5)
  15. Kidnapping of Jane Doe (F1)
  16. Rape of Jane Doe (F1)
  17. Second charge of Rape of Jane Doe (F1)
  18. Third charge of Rape of Jane Doe (F1)
  19. Robbery of Jane Doe (F3)
  20. Burglary (F3)
  21. Burglary (F3)
  22. Burglary (F3)
  23. Breaking and Entering (F5)

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