Closing Arguments Given In Shawn Grate Capital Murder Trial

  • 5/7/2018 2:56:38 PM
  • Larry Stine
  • Local News

ASHLAND, OH - Closing arguments from the state and defense began Day 9 of the capital murder trial of Shawn Grate in Ashland County Common Pleas Court on Monday.

Grate is facing eight charges, including four counts of aggravated murder, two each for Elizabeth Griffith and Stacey Stanley, aka, Stacey Hicks along with kidnapping, rape, and robbery counts. 

Ashland County Prosecutor Christopher Tunnell told jury members about the remaining charges Grate faces for them to decide his fate and said he was guilty of the deaths of first, Elizabeth Griffith, and later, Stacey Stanely.

Defense attorney Robert Whitney then gave his closing argument, telling the jury Grate had implicated himself in both deaths before the bodies had been found but also asked them to consider when Ashland Police Detective Kim Mager described him as a person with a conscious.

Tunnell then gave his rebuttal remarks, saying in both instances of Griffith and Stanley, Grate had formulated a plan.

Ashland County Common Pleas Court Judge Ron Forsthoefel then instructed jury members on how to conduct their deliberations and prepare verdict forms before the court was recessed. 

Last week, Grate pleaded guilty to 15 charges of the 23 charges, including rape, kidnapping, gross abuse of a corpse and burglary.

He's also charged with kidnapping and raping a third woman, identified as Jane Doe.

She had called 9-1-1 on Sept. 13, 2016, and alerted authorities about having been kidnapped, sexually abused and assaulted by Grate at the Covert Court home where the bodies of Griffith and Stanley were found.

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