No homicide charges for Mack
June 9, 2004
Eagle County District Attorney Mark Hulbert said homicide charges will not be filed against a 26-year-old Steamboat Springs man who told officials he had killed his friend.
Although Christopher Mack feared he had choked to death Max Knight, 30, Hulbert said an autopsy revealed Knight died of natural heart failure.
The Eagle County Sheriff’s Office is pursuing drug charges against Mack. Mack told the sheriff’s office that he had shared chocolate covered psilocybin mushrooms with Knight the night before his death, reports show.
Unless new evidence is produced, Hulbert said, he would not consider drug charges.
Eagle County Detective Mike McWilliam said the sheriff’s office is waiting for the results of toxicology tests taken from Mack the morning of the death. The toxicology reports from Knight’s autopsy showed a blood-alcohol content of 0.281 but no trace of drugs.
“There was talk that they had both done psilocybin mushrooms. They are really hard too see in the system; they tend to get out really quickly,” McWilliam said.
On May 17, Mack was arrested on suspicion of second-degree murder after he called the Vail Dispatch Center to report that he thought he killed his friend.
Reports from the sheriff’s office state that Mack and Knight argued and had a physical altercation in the early morning hours before Knight’s death.
Mack and Knight, who both worked for Mambo Italiano in Steamboat, drove to State Bridge together early Sunday morning for a concert. The two were drinking alcohol Sunday and took chocolate-covered psilocybin mushrooms about 5 p.m., Mack reportedly told investigators.
Early Monday morning, the two started fighting, Mack told the sheriff’s office. Mack described the fight as a street brawl with a few punches thrown. The next morning, Mack found Knight dead in his tent.
“He thought he had beaten and choked his friend,” McWilliam said. “But the forensic pathology report showed in fact (Knight) died of complication from a heart problem.”