David Allen Rice, 55, pastor of First Presbyterian Church on Henry Road, said his name has been cleared from an incident in which he was arrested in May after allegedly stabbing his step-brother at his home on Homarda Drive.
“We have received word today that all charges have been dropped and there are no remaining legal matters of any description related to the incident that occurred in my family Memorial Day weekend,” Rice wrote in the email.
Police arrested Rice on May 28 after responding to a call at the pastor’s home, where they found his brother, Philip Rice, 53, unconscious with stab wounds to the arm and chest. Rice’s wife, Karolyn Rice, told The Star her brother-in-law had a history of panic attacks and she heard Philip Rice crying in their kitchen the night of the incident. David Rice went to the kitchen to talk to Philip, she said, and later yelled to his wife to call 911.
“I’m extremely relieved,” Rice said Friday afternoon by phone. “This has been quite an ordeal for the last seven weeks for me and my family, and by extension my church family.”
Rice said he testified to the grand jury Thursday while his brother-in-law testified on Wednesday. Both men said Rice acted in self-defense, he said.
Calhoun County Circuit Clerk Ted Hooks said he could not confirm the grand jury decided against an indictment, referred to as a “no-bill,” because he had already left the courthouse for the day. Hooks did say he signed no indictment for David Rice on Friday. It is possible a no-bill could be re-opened for prosecution by the District Attorney’s Office.
District Attorney Brian McVeigh also said he could not confirm the vote.
Attempts to reach Rice’s attorney, William Broome, late Friday were unsuccessful.