Etna man charged

The Newark Advocate

July 3, 2007

ETNA MAN CHARGED WITH INVOLUNTARY MANSLAUGHTER

By Kimberly Dick

Advocate Reporter

NEWARK - A 34-year-old Etna man has been charged with involuntary manslaughter after an incident left a woman dead Saturday morning.

Grace Sells, 49, of Etna, died as a result of blunt force injury to the head, according to the Licking County Coroner's Office.

Kurt J. Dickman called the Licking County 911 Center on Saturday morning and said his fiancée was dead at his residence, 828 Columbus St. He told police he found her in bed.

Dickman and Sells reportedly were arguing and she was shoved, fell and hit her head, Licking County Sheriff Randy Thorp said.

Dickman told police he grabbed Sells and pulled her to the ground in an angry manner, according to court documents. He said this might have caused Sells to hit her head, according to an affidavit in support of Dickman's arrest warrant.

Court documents claim Dickman grabbed Sells by the shirt collar and threw her to the floor.

The two have known each other more than 10 years. Dickman reportedly told Licking County Sheriff's Office detectives Sells recently had been drinking heavily.

The events leading up to her death occurred late Friday night or early Saturday, Licking County Assistant Prosecutor Ken Oswalt said.

Dickman was arrested Saturday and charged with the third-degree felony. Authorities claim Dickman caused her death as the result of misdemeanor assault. He posted bond in Licking County Municipal Court.

Judge David Branstool set it at $7,500.

Dickman's attorney, Rob Calesaric, said Dickman works for the state, is in the National Guard and has no previous record involving alcohol or domestic violence.

His case will be heard next by a grand jury for possible indictment.