No charges filed against police following decision

MARTINS FERRY — A Belmont County grand jury decided Wednesday that no charges should be filed against a deputy and a police officer involved the shooting death of a Martins Ferry man last spring.

Jill Del Greco, spokeswoman with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, said Thursday the case was presented to the grand jury and no charges were filed.

Kevin Nickle, 59, was fatally shot May 16 by law enforcement who were responding to an emergency call at 57558 Washington Blvd. On the day Nickle was shot, he allegedly was chasing his family members around the home with a knife. When officers and deputies reached the home, they found another man outside who identified the suspect as his brother. He said Nickle and his mother were still in the house. The man also told police officers and sheriff’s deputies that his mother was locked in a room inside.

Law enforcement personnel were able to get the mother out of the house through another exit. They noticed Nickle was still inside trying to start a fire, and that’s when they “breached” the house.

Belmont County Prosecutor Dan Fry previously said law enforcement ordered Nickle to drop a weapon he was holding. When he refused, one of the deputies or officers tried to use a stun gun on the man to subdue him but the device had no effect on the man. Law enforcement then made the decision to shoot the man.

Belmont County Sheriff Dave Lucas said Thursday his deputy and the Martins Ferry police officer can move forward now that the grand jury voted no on an indictment.

“Our hearts and thoughts go out to the family,” Lucas said. “It was a tragic moment for the family and the officers. It’s tragic when something like this happens.”

Lucas said his department cooperated throughout the investigation by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation and the Ohio Attorney Generals’ special prosecutor.

“This is our normal process,” he said. “It’s why we have an outside agency investigate to be impartial. The grand jury reviewed and listened to the witnesses.”

Lucas said his deputy has been back to work, although he was on administrative leave at the beginning of the investigation.

Martins Ferry police Chief John McFarland could not be reached for comment late Thursday.

Nickle’s family members could not be reached for comment as no current phone listing could be found.