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Grate sentenced to death

• Updated Jun 1, 2018 at 3:18 PM

ASHLAND — Convicted killer Shawn Grate was greeted Friday by a sea of purple T-shirts and the seething hatred of the people who wore them.

Several dozen loved ones of murder victim Stacey Stanley wore T-shirts that said "Stanley Strong." A number of them delivered victim impact statements at Grate's sentencing, the Mansfield News Journal reported.

As expected, Ashland County Common Pleas Judge Ron Forsthoefel sentenced Grate to death for the aggravated murders of Stanley, 43, and Elizabeth Griffith, 29.

The judge set the execution date for Sept. 13 — two years to the day of Grate's arrest. With appeals, it will likely be a number of years before Grate is executed.

Forsthoefel pronounced the sentence shortly before 11:30 a.m. The crowd in the packed courtroom broke out in applause.

Grate was convicted May 14 on multiple charges related to the 2016 murders of Griffith and Stanley. The jury recommended the death sentence.

Forsthoefel also sentenced Grate to a minimum of 90 years to life in prison for the other charges.

Stanley's loved ones described her as a kind woman who liked to help others and loved to cook. Griffith's family said she was a good Christian.

In all, 11 people addressed the court and Grate.

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