- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 9, 2018

ASHLAND, Ohio (AP) - A jury will reconvene next week to decide whether to recommend that a man convicted of killing two women be sentenced to death.

Forty-one-year-old Shawn Grate was convicted on Monday of aggravated murder and kidnapping in the 2016 strangulation deaths of Stacey Stanley and Elizabeth Griffith. Their bodies were found in a vacant Ashland home after a third woman escaped.

The death penalty phase for Grate’s trial is scheduled to begin May 18. The same jury deliberated just three hours before finding him guilty. The jury is expected to hear evidence aimed at saving Grate’s life before deciding whether to recommend the death penalty or life in prison.

Ashland County Judge Ronald Forsthoefel can’t sentence Grate to death without a jury recommendation.

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