Jury selection under way for accused Ashland serial killer Shawn Grate

Shawn Grate is charged with murdering two women, but is suspected in five deaths. (Source: WOIO)
Shawn Grate is charged with murdering two women, but is suspected in five deaths. (Source: WOIO)

ASHLAND, OH (WOIO) - A man accused of kidnapping, raping and murdering women in and around Ashland will soon face a jury trial.

Jury selection began Monday in the case of Shawn Grate. Grate was arrested in 2016, after a woman called 911 from his home, telling police she had been abducted and raped.

When police came to the woman's aid, they found more than they expected. The bodies of two other women, Elizabeth Griffith and Stacey Stanley, were also in the home. Both had been strangled.

After Grate's arrest, he told law enforcement and media outlets, including Cleveland 19 News, that he was responsible for three additional murders.

That includes a Jane Doe, found in Marion County in 2007. He's also admitted killing Candice Cunningham and Rebekah Leicy.

At this time, he's only been charged with the murders of Griffith and Stanely.

In a 2016 interview, Kurt Stanley -- the son of Stacey Stanley -- told Cleveland 19 his mother had car trouble, and told family members that a man they believed to be Grate had stopped to help her.

He never saw his mother again, Stanley said.

In court on Monday, Judge Ron Forsthoefel read a 23-count indictment to prospective jurors, detailing the charges against Grate, including kidnapping, rape, murder, robbery, burglary, and abuse of a corpse.

Jury selection is expected to take some time, up to two weeks. Opening statements are expected to begin on April 23.

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