Mam Not Indicted in Woman's Death

The Columbus Dispatch

September 18, 2007

A Licking County man has been cleared in the death of his live-in fiancée.

Kurt J. Dickman, 34, was charged with involuntary manslaughter after police arrested him at his home on June 30. Dickman called police and said he found Grace Sells dead in her bedroom.

The case was taken to a grand jury Aug. 30, but no indictment was returned.

The Licking County coroner said Sells died of blunt-force trauma. The couple had an argument about Sells' drinking the day before and Dickman said he had grabbed her by the collar and thrown her to the floor, according to a police report. The fall might have caused her to hit her head, the report said.

Robert Calesaric, Dickman's attorney, said members of the grand jury probably were influenced by statements from Sells' family.

The statements indicate that Dickman was trying to help Sells curb her drinking problem.

A toxicology report indicated that the amount of alcohol in Sells' blood was three times the level at which intoxication is assumed in Ohio.

"After she fell, she got up and walked away," Calesaric said. "We're not sure if she might have fallen again. My client did not knowingly cause or attempt to cause her injury."