Grate found guilty of murder

Zoe Greszler • May 9, 2018 at 8:56 AM

ASHLAND — After more than three hours of deliberation, a jury found accused serial killer Shawn Grate guilty of murdering two women, including Greenwich’s Stacey Stanley (Hicks). Grate was also found guilty of the kidnapping and sexual assault of another woman.

During closing arguments Monday, Prosecutor Chris Tunnell reviewed the timeline involving Stanley’s death, as well as the second victim, Elizabeth Griffith. According to 19 Action News, Tunnell showed the jury where Grate had marked in his calendar the date he killed Griffeth.

The penalty phase of Grate’s trial — when jurors will decide whether the convicted killer will face the death penalty — is scheduled to begin May 18.

He also reviewed cell phone videos and recordings of Grate’s assault and eventual murder of Stanley, including one where he threatened to sexually assault her.

Tunnell encouraged the jury to consider, "Maybe she knew she was going to die ... she was talking to us."

“Everything this defendant does is premeditated. He's cunning, he's thoughtful,” Channel 19 reported.

During one recording, where Grate is talking about Stanley, he comments, “I’m going to use her,” the station reported. Grate then defended his actions, by saying Stanley willingly went home with him late after he helped her change her tire.

“What did she expect?” Grate said in the police-recorded interview before adding that God had given up on her.

In another recorded police interview, Grate tells the detectives different versions of how he killed Stanley, Channel 19 reported. He explains Griffith’s death almost as an act of mercy. The tape showed Grate as he told detectives he wanted to see if Elizabeth "wanted to die." 

“You've been more than patient. I thank you in advance for your common sense,” Tunnell said before ending his closing remarks. 

After finding Grate guilty, the jury will now have to consider if his actions are worthy of the maximum sentence — the death penalty — or life in prison. Jurrors will reconvene for the sentencing phase of the trial on May 18.


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