On tonight’s episode of the ID Channel’s Evil Lives Here, an ex-wife of convicted serial killer Shawn Grate discusses what it was like to live with him. The episode marks the beginning of the channel’s Serial Killer Week.
According to the episode description, “As Christina Hildreth helped Shawn Grate clean up his first crime scene, she didn’t realize what she was doing. Once police were banging on her door while she was trapped with a madman, she understood the situation was direr than she realized.”
Grate has convicted of murdering five women and kidnapping another after admitting to the crimes. Read on to learn more about Grate’s prison sentence.
Grate Was Sentenced to Multiple Life Sentences and Death
On September 13, 2016, a woman escaped from ties that bound her to a bed and called 911, according to a report by People.
“I’ve been kidnapped,” the woman told the dispatcher. “Please hurry.”
The bodies of Stacey Stanley and Elizabeth Griffith were discovered at the location when police arrived. After being arrested, Grate confessed to two other murders: those of Candice Cunningham and Rebekah Leicy. He also told police that he’d murdered a magazine salesperson years earlier, but he couldn’t remember her name. She was later identified as Dana Nicole Lowrey. Grate pleaded guilty to her murder in 2019.
Because the women had been killed in different counties, Grate was given separate sentences for them. For the Ashland County murders of Stanley and Griffith, Grate was sentenced to death. For the murders that took place in Richland County, he was sentenced to life in prison. For the murder of Lowrey, which happened years earlier, Grate was sentenced to life in prison plus 16 years to be served consecutively with his other sentences.
“I think it’s important that the sentence was consecutive,” Marion County Prosecutor Ray Grogan told WBNS 10. “He may very well die before he serves a day of this court’s sentence. But, at the end of the day, I’ll know, the sheriff will know, the family will know, that Dana received her own justice.”
Grate’s Original Date of Execution was Scheduled for 2018
According to the Mansfield News Journal, though there was an initial execution date for Grate, it generally never happens that quickly and an appeal is filed very quickly, meaning there is a stay of execution.
Grate was also awaiting trial for Lowrey’s murder when he was sentenced to death, which also delayed the process.
In July 2018, the Mansfield News Journal reported on the sentencing of Shawn Grate and wrote that the crowd in court applauded the death sentence. The article says that several dozen of Stanley’s loved ones wore T-shirts that read “Stanley Strong” and delivered victim impact statements at the sentencing.
The Ashland County Common Pleas Judge Ron Forsthoefel sentenced Grate to death and set the execution date for September 13, 2018. According to the article, the crowd “broke out in applause.”
Grate is currently at the Chillicothe Correctional Institute. His legal team has appealed the death sentence in the Ohio Supreme Court.