The Placer County District Attorney announced Monday it will not press charges against 20-year-old Zachary Raymond Kachmar in connection with the death of Robert Vickney Jr., calling the incident an "unnecessary and avoidable tragedy" caused by "consumption of alcohol combined with a volatile temper."
The announcement comes more than a week after Kachmar, pictured, was released from Placer County jail after being arrested in connection with Vickney's death. At the time of his release, the Placer County district attorney released a statement indicating that Kachmar may have been acting "without criminal intent" at a party where Vickney died.
The district attorney's office now claims that Robert Vickney Jr., 51, attacked Kachmar at a party held at Vickney's residence July 13 after Kachmar broke a shot glass.
Multiple interviews with eyewitnesses confirm that Vickney, who was six feet tall and 230 pounds, began strangling Kachmar, who is five feet nine inches tall and 132 pounds, according to police. Kachmar, who was sitting down at the time, felt himself losing consciousness.
Kachmar had a pocketknife in his hand for shotgunning, the practice of poking a hole in the bottom of a beer can and opening the top to consume the drink rapidly, according to the district attorney. At some point in the confrontation, the pocketknife went into Vickney's chest, killing him.
Based on this sequence of events that multiple eyewitnesses confirm, including Vickney's son, there is no proof that Kachmar was acting with malice in Vickney's death, according to the district attorney.
Vickney, a Rocklin-area junior football coach was described by his friends after his death as a man with a "big heart" and a "huge smile."
John Brunet, who coached the Rocklin Junior Thunder football team to an undefeated season with Vickney in 2005, was at the party 30 minutes before the stabbing occurred, and said the gathering was fairly low-key.