Shawn Grate trial: Jury hears confession tapes of alleged murders

ASHLAND, OH (WOIO) - Testimony continued on Monday morning in the case of accused serial killer Shawn Grate. Grate admitted to killing five women, including two women in Ashland County in September 2016.

During Monday's testimony, Detective Kim Mager with the Ashland Police Department stayed on the stand. She testified that Grate admitted to stealing Elizabeth Griffith's key, shortly after he strangled her to death in the home where he was living on Covert Court. He then broke into her apartment, and stole several items, including shampoo, conditioner, and paper towels.

According to Ashland Police, officers with metal detectors found that key near her home in mid-September, about a month after she went missing.

"He drew where he tossed the key to Elizabeth Griffith's apartment," said Mager, as prosecutors showed the jury the hand-drawn map.

According to tape-recorded conversations between Mager and Grate, Grate also took one of Griffith's phones.

"He drew where he had thrown Elizabeth Griffith's phone off the bridge in pieces, over the waterway there, near the bridge," Mager testified.

That phone was not recovered, police testified.

The confession tapes also reveal more about how Grate says he killed Stacey Stanley. According to what he told Mager, Grate became angry with Stanley when he was helping her change a tire at the local gas station. He told Mager that he believed a family friend who provided a tire jack was Stanley's "sugar daddy." When Stanley told him the man was just a family friend, Grate didn't believe it, he told Mager.

"He already knew what was going to happen to her, before he walked in the house with her," said Mager.

Police testimony also covered the abduction and rape of the Jane Doe who testified in court about what she said Grate did to her over the course of two days in September 2016.

According to Ashland detectives, Grate also broke into Jane Doe's apartment and stole cash from her wallet.

They say he stole from Stacey Stanley, too. They found her debit card in his wallet, and several boxes of so-called "love roses" or synthetic flowers enclosed in plastic tubes, in his bedroom.

Later in the afternoon, police called witnesses from the Circle K gas station in Ashland, who said Shawn Grate came into the store on the evening he allegedly abducted Jane Doe. In surveillance tape, he's seen buying cigarettes. Police say he purchased them with money he found inside Jane Doe's apartment.

Court is scheduled to continue on Tuesday morning. If convicted, Grate could face the death penalty.

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