Accused killer Shawn Grate pleads not guilty

Sept. 19, 2016: Accused Ashland County killer, Shawn Grate, was arraigned via video where a not guilty plea was entered.

ASHLAND -- Shawn M. Grate pleaded not guilty to two murder charges and a charge of kidnapping during a hearing held by video in Ashland County Common Pleas Court Monday morning.

He was represented by attorney Rolf Whitney in a video hearing held before Judge Ron Forsthoefel.

Grate, 40, waived speedy trial and a preliminary hearing.

Forsthoefel ordered the case bound over to an Ashland County grand jury for consideration on indictment on the charges.

He set Grate's next court appearance for Thursday, Sept. 29 at 8 a.m.

Grate is in the Ashland County Jail, with bond set at $1 million.

The murder and kidnapping charges were filed Thursday against Shawn Grate, 40, in connection with an abduction and two bodies found in a house at 363 Covert Court last week.

LISTEN | 911 call from Ashland County abduction, murders

Grate was arrested after a woman in a house at Covert Court in Ashland called 911 about 6:40 a.m. Tuesday, saying she was being held captive. The kidnapping victim had not been reported as missing.

On Wednesday, the Ashland County coroner identified one of the bodies as being Stacey Stanley, the Greenwich woman who had been reported missing the week before.

The second victim was later identified as Elizabeth Griffith, 29, who had not been seen since Aug. 16.


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