A judge in northeast Ohio has classified a man facing a possible death sentence in the slayings of two women as a sexually violent predator.
The Ashland Times-Gazette reports Ashland County Judge Ronald Forsthoefel made the finding Friday based on testimony during 41-year-old Shawn Grate’s murder trial. A jury Monday convicted Grate of aggravated murder and kidnapping in the 2016 strangulation deaths of 29-year-old Elizabeth Griffith and 43-year-old Stacey Stanley in Ashland.
Grate in the middle of trial pleaded guilty to rape and gross abuse of a corpse charges.
His attorney argued Friday that Grate will spend the rest of his life in prison and isn’t likely to offend.
The jury will begin deciding Friday whether to recommend that Grate receive the death penalty or life in prison without parole.