ASHLAND COUNTY - The Ashland County Grand Jury handed up a 23-felony count indictment against Shawn M. Grate, 40, including two charges of Aggravated Murder, each one of which would be punishable either by life imprisonment without parole or the death penalty, according to a news release by the Ashland County Prosecutor.
Prosecutor Christopher R.Tunnell led the Grand Jury investigation and will prosecute the case along with First Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Gary P. Bishop and Special Prosecutor Mark R. Weaver.
The indictment alleges a wide range of felony charges surrounding the murders of Elizabeth A. Griffith, Stacey J. Hicks, aka: Stacey J. Stanley,and the kidnapping of a woman who prosecutors are naming Jane Doe.
According to the release, Jane Doe was kidnapped and raped multiple times but escaped alive after calling 911.
(Court rules allow prosecutors to withhold the name of victims until trial.)
According to the release, the 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.Burglaryof 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 Corpseof 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)
23.Breaking and Entering (F5)
In addition to the charges that are death penalty eligible(one for each of the two murders), the maximum prison sentence that could be given for conviction of all these crimes is 166 years. Ashland County has had only two death penalty eligible murders in the last 20 years, according to the release..