Ohio

Suspect in Ohio women's slayings pursues insanity defense

FILE – This file photo provided by the Ashland County Sheriff Office shows Shawn Grate, arrested Sept. 13, 2016, in Ashland, Ohio. Attorneys for Grate, suspected of killing several women in Ohio, are pursuing an insanity defense and asking a judge to have someone determine whether the man is competent to stand trial.  A competency hearing already was scheduled for Jan. 6, 2017,  in Ashland County court. (Ashland County Sheriff Office via AP,  File)

FILE – This file photo provided by the Ashland County Sheriff Office shows Shawn Grate, arrested Sept. 13, 2016, in Ashland, Ohio. Attorneys for Grate, suspected of killing several women in Ohio, are pursuing an insanity defense and asking a judge to have someone determine whether the man is competent to stand trial. A competency hearing already was scheduled for Jan. 6, 2017, in Ashland County court. (Ashland County Sheriff Office via AP, File)  (The Associated Press)

Attorneys for a man suspected of killing several women in Ohio are pursuing an insanity defense.

They say 40-year-old Shawn Grate is not guilty of murder and other charges in Ashland County because he is insane.

They want a judge to order an evaluation of Grate to determine if he is competent to stand trial. A hearing has been set for Jan. 6.

Police arrested Grate in September, when they found two bodies in an abandoned Ashland home where another woman had called 911 and had said she'd been held captive. Grate is also accused of raping her.

Investigators say he also admitted killing two other women.

Prosecutors and Grate's attorneys are blocked from publicly discussing the case because of a gag order.