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Shawn Grate pleads not guilty to Ashland murders, case moves to grand jury

Posted at 8:20 AM, Sep 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-19 12:11:18-04

Shawn Grate, the suspect in an Ashland homicide who may be involved in two other death investigations, will be heard by a grand jury after pleading not guilty in court on Monday.

Grate pleaded not guilty to two murder charges and a kidnapping charge. He is expected to return to court to face a grand jury on Sept. 29.

Authorities are trying to determine whether Grate was involved in the deaths of two other people, including a 2015 cold case that initially appeared to be an overdose.

That possible connection was made shortly after Grate told investigators about his involvement in the 2015 murder case of Rebekah Leicy and the 2007 slaying of a Marion woman, a source close to the investigation confirmed with NewsChannel 5.

Grate appeared in court Monday after he was accused of killing Elizabeth Griffith, 29, and Stacey Stanley, 40, whose bodies were found Sept. 13 at a home in Ashland. A third woman, whose identity has not been released, was found alive at the home after she used Grate's phone to call police.

Grate, 40, was charged with two counts of murder and one count of kidnapping in that case. Investigators also said he is a suspect in a homicide in Richland County.

Learn more about Shawn Grate here.