Murder victim's son reacts after Shawn Grate guilty verdict

ASHLAND COUNTY, OH (WOIO) - Late Monday afternoon, fewer than four hours after they started deliberations and after hearing eight days of testimony and evidence, the jury in the Shawn Grate murder trial rendered a verdict.

They found Grate guilty of all eight counts with which he was charged, including aggravated murder, aggravated robbery and kidnapping.

When the trial began two weeks ago, Grate faced 23 charges, but he pleaded guilty to 15 of those last week, including rape, robbery, and abuse of a corpse. Those charges carry a penalty of up to 74 years in prison.

However, Grate did not plead guilty to the aggravated murders of Elizabeth Griffith and Stacey Stanley, who he told police in videotaped confessions that he strangled to death.

Kurtis Stanley, the son of Stacey Stanley, says he's glad to hear the jury's verdict.

"He is a guilty man for what he's done, you  know," he said. "I mean, maybe one day, things will change for him, but as of right now, that doesn't make me feel any other way towards him."

Kurtis says he's tired of hearing about Shawn Grate, though, and he wants people to focus on the victims-Elizabeth Griffith and his own mother, Stacey Stanley.

"My mom's the kind of woman who called me several times a day, you know? Every single day. Cooked dinner for us all the time," he said. "Being here, seeing what I've seen happen, you know, it's a lot to deal with."

The jury will be back at the Ashland County Courthouse for sentencing on May 18. Grate faces life in prison or the death penalty for the murder charges.

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