Man arrested for involuntary manslaughter in brother's death

A Boyne City man was arrested Thursday on a charge of involuntary manslaughter in the death of his brother.

According to the Charlevoix County Prosecutor, Christopher Grice, 29, will face the charges in his brother, William's death in December.

William Grice, 26, was taken to the Charlevoix Area Hospital on Dec. 22 by his parents eight hours after an "incident" had taken place at his home. He was then taken to McLaren Northern Michigan Hospital where he underwent emergency surgery on his brain. He died the next day.

An autopsy ruled the manner of death as homicide due to a craniocerebral trauma. He had several facial and head injuries as well as severe brain hemorrhages.

The Emmet County Medical Examiner said the cause of death was a blow to the head.

While the autopsy showed manner of death as a homicide, Christopher Grice will be charged with involuntary manslaughter.

"A homicide, as the phrase was used by the doctor, is a death caused by the deliberate act of another person," Prosecuting Attorney Allen Telgenhof explains. "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 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."

"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."

The charge is a felony that carries a maximum penalty of fifteen years in prison.

"We wanted to wait for all of the information we could get before making any charging decision," said Telgenhof. "We owe it to both brothers and the family not to rush into anything."

During the investigation, the Sheriff's Office reported alcohol was a contributing factor in the incident.