NewsShawn Grate


Convicted killer Shawn Grate pleads guilty to the murders of 2 women in Richland County

Posted at 1:48 PM, Mar 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-04 14:08:01-04

MANSFIELD, Ohio — Convicted killer Shawn Grate was sentenced Friday for the murders of two women in Richland County. Grate is already on death row for the murders of two other women.

Grate appeared before a judge Friday to change his plea from not guilty to guilty.

He pleaded guilty to the following charges:

  • aggravated murder—given life in prison without the possibility of parole
  • 2 counts gross abuse of a corpse— 12 months in prison for each count
  • murder—15 years to life

All counts must be served consecutively, according to the court.

In Richland County, he was indicted on 13 felony offenses, which include aggravated murder and gross abuse of a corpse, relating to the deaths of Rebekah Leicy and Candace Cunningham. The other 10 charges were dropped.

Leicy's body was found on Ashland County Road in March 2015 about a month after she went missing. Her death was originally ruled a drug overdose, but authorities reopened the case after Grate confessed to the murders in Ashland County.

Cunningham's body was found behind a burned down house on Park Avenue East in Madison Township in September 2016, the same day he was arrested in Ashland County.

Grate was sentenced to death in June 2018 for the murders of Stacey Hicks and Liz Griffith. He was also found guilty on charges of kidnapping.

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