MANSLAUGHTER CHARGE DROPPED

The Newark Advocate

September 18, 2007

By: Russ Zimmer Advocate Reporter

NEWARK – A Licking County grand jury declined to indict a man who authorities claimed was responsible for the death of his fiancée in a June accident.

During an Aug. 30 session, the grand jury moved to dismiss the warrant for involuntary manslaughter against Kurt J. Dickman.

"There's no certainty as to whether or not he did anything to cause her harm, but if he did it was with altruistic goals in mind," Rob Calesaric, Dickman's attorney, said Monday afternoon.

On June 30, Dickman and his fiancée, Grace Sells, were arguing about her alcohol consumption at his Etna home. During the course of the verbal altercation, Dickman admitted to pulling Sells to the ground, which might have caused her to hit her head, according to an affidavit in support of his arrest.

Afterwards, Sells went to bed. In the morning, Dickman called Licking County 911 to report Sells had died. He told police he found her in bed.

Toxicology reports show Sells' blood-alcohol content was about triple the legal limit, Calesaric said.

Because of her level of intoxication, she might have injured herself at some other point in the night, he said.

Calesaric said jurors likely saw Dickman had no intent to harm Sells.

He said Dickman was, and had been, trying to help her through her struggles with alcohol.

Licking County Prosecutor Ken Oswalt could not be reached for comment.