Boyne City man charged in brother’s death; Christopher Mellon Grice facing involuntary manslaughter charge

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The Boyne City man accused of killing his brother shortly before Christmas was arraigned on Friday March 14 in Charlevoix’s 90th District Court after having been arrested on Thursday March 13.

The 29-year-old Christopher Mellon Grice is charged with involuntary manslaughter related to the death of his brother William Benjamin Grice.

“We wanted to wait for all of the information we could get before making a charging decision,” Charlevoix County Prosecuting Attorney Allen Telgenhof stated in a Thursday March 13 press release. “We owe it to both brothers and the family not to rush into anything.”

According to the Charlevoix County Prosecutor’s Office, William was treated in the emergency room at Charlevoix Area Hospital on Dec. 22, 2013 and was pronounced dead on Dec. 23, 2013 at McLaren Northern Michigan Hospital in Petoskey where he underwent emergency surgery on his brain.

An autopsy was performed at Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids.

In his report, dated Jan. 30, 2014, David A. Start, M.D., the forensic pathologist ruled that William’s death was a homicide, due to craniocerebral trauma.

William’s injuries included a contusion of the right parietal scalp, fractures of the left maxillary sinus and nasal bones, facial contusions, abrasions and lacerations, as well as severe brain hemorrhages.

The death certificate, signed by Emmet County Medical Examiner Carl W. Hawkins, M.D. lists the manner of death as homicide and the causes of death as craniocerebral trauma and a blow to the head.

“A homicide, as the phrase was used by the doctor, is a death caused by the deliberate act of another person,” Telgenhof stated.

“The difference between murder and manslaughter is that with a second degree murder, the prosecution must prove that the defendant took the life of another with the intent to kill or to do great bodily harm, or that the defendant acted in wanton and willful disregard of the likelihood that the natural tendency of his act would cause death or great bodily harm.”

He added, “In an involuntary manslaughter, such as we have charged here, we must show that the defendant, while intending to injure, caused the death of another by committing an unlawful act, such as an assault or that the defendant acted in a grossly negligent manner.”

Involuntary manslaughter is a felony that carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison.