Wilson: No evidence of homicide


The Eagle County Sheriff's Office has no intention of pursuing homicide charges against the 26-year-old Steamboat Springs man connected to the death of Max Knight.

Undersheriff Kevin Wilson said Wednesday that, based on evidence from the autopsy, homicide is not being considered despite statements made by Christopher Mack.

"At this point, the evidence says no homicide was committed," Wilson said.

Mack was arrested and advised on second-degree murder charges Monday afternoon, just hours after Knight was found dead in a tent that the men had shared near State Bridge Lodge. Knight, 30, was a longtime resident of Steamboat Springs who worked as a cook at Cantina for nine years and more recently at Mambo Italiano.

Mack called the Eagle County Sheriff's Office on Monday morning to talk about what he thought had happened Sunday night leading up to Knight's death, Wilson said.

"He thought he did something he apparently didn't do," Wilson said.

Mack allegedly told authorities he had strangled Knight, but autopsy results showed no indication of strangling or any other evidence of homicide, Eagle County Coroner Kara Bettis said.

Mack's bond has been reduced from $50,000 Wilson said, and he is expected to leave the Eagle County Jail today. The sheriff's office could pursue misdemeanor charges, Wilson said.

A motions hearing for Mack has been set for June 8 in Eagle County, and he has been assigned a public defender.

District Attorney Mark Hurlbert said no charges have been filed in the case, and a District Court judge ordered that charges, if any, be filed by Monday.

Mack was a co-worker of Knight's at Mambo Italiano, and the two were camping Sunday night after a concert at State Bridge Lodge.

Eagle County authorities found Knight's body when responding to an 8:25 a.m. call Monday reporting a dead man in a tent.

Authorities investigating the scene found signs that a scuffle had taken place Sunday night, Wilson said. Bettis estimated that Knight died between 11 p.m. Sunday and 1 a.m. Monday.

Authorities suspect alcohol was involved, Wilson said, and noted they could smell it at the scene. No drugs were found at the scene.

Toxicology reports, requested as a standard part of the autopsy procedure, are expected by the end of the week. Blood samples also were taken from Mack, and authorities are awaiting results from them, Wilson said.

-- To reach Christine Metz call 871-4229

or e-mail cmetz@steamboatpilot.com


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