Authorities say they won't file charges against the friends of a Grand Junction teen who was strangled to death at a party after having ingested the synthetic compounds known as "bath salts."

On April 10, friends of Daniel J. Richards, 19, reportedly rushed him to the hospital 15 minutes after he became non-responsive in a choke hold.

Mesa County District Attorney Pete Hautzinger said that an investigation shows Richards had purchased "several hundreds of dollars' worth" of bath salts before the party consisting of about 10 peers aged 18-20.

According to investigators, Richards was out of control and exhibited an "explosion of violence" at the party, attempting to punch the home-owner before pulling out a 12-inch-long knife. Trying to subdue Richards, friends told investigators they tackled him to the ground and applied a choke hold around his neck.

After appearing to calm down, Hautzinger said Richards jumped up and tried to continue fighting before friends took him down a second time and that's when he "appeared to go to sleep."

Reached by phone Tuesday afternoon, the Grand Junction Police Department said they did not have a photo of Richards and that the friend or friends who caused the strangulation are not being named because they are not being charged with a crime though the death was ruled a homicide.

"But you have to taken into account that homicide simply means the killing of a person by another person. It does not mean there was intent and it's not the same thing as murder," said Kate Porras, the public information coordinator for the Grand Junction Police Department.

In addition to the presence of Alpha-PVP bath salts in Richards' system, the Mesa County Coroner's Office toxicology report also found marijuana and a blood-alcohol level of 0.067 percent.

“It’s a real tragedy and one so easily prevented,” Grand Junction Police Chief John Camper told the Grand Junction Sentinel. “The effect of this drug in many cases is worse than methamphetamine and cocaine.”

Porras said that this is the first bath salts-related death police have seen in Mesa County.

"It's something we've seen growing in the last year or so," Porras said.

Indeed many authorities in western Colorado were only briefed on how to spot bath salts and its effects a few weeks ago.

Just one month after Richards' death, in early June, Gov. John Hickenlooper signed a bill establishing criminal penalties for the use, possession, distribution or manufacturing of cathinones, the dangerous chemical used in bath salts. The drug had been sold in smoke shops, head shops and even gas stations in Colorado up until it was signed into law three weeks ago.

According to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), cathinones, or bath salts, are a central nervous system stimulant sold in a white or off-white powder or capsule form under names like "Vanilla Sky," "White Knight," "Lunar Wave" and others. Like other drugs, they can be ingested by snorting, injection, orally or by smoking.

Bath salts users can experience delusions, paranoia (recall the recent case of a man in Atlanta who threatened to eat people on a golf course after ingesting bath salts or the shocking Miami case of Rudy Eugene who was widely believed to be on some form of synthetic drugs when he at the face of Ronald Poppo) a rapid heart rate that may lead to heart attacks, strokes or panic attacks.

Hautzinger said that Richards' family is upset with the decision to not file charges but said that an investigation concluded the strangulation did not involve criminal intent.

"This was not a crime. It was not an intent to cause this persons death. It was an intent to try to prevent him from hurting himself or others," Hautzinger said, adding that he would have had to prove that the defendant had recklessly or intentionally engaged in behavior causing death in order to file charges of manslaughter.

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WARNING: SLIDESHOW CONTAINS GRAPHIC PHOTOS:
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  • Rudy Eugene

    Rudy Eugene poses for a picture in this undated photo. Eugene was shot to death by Miami police as he crouched over Ronald Poppo's limp body, naked and growling, chewing off chunks of the man's face. (Miami Herald/MCT via Getty Images)

  • Rudy Eugene

    A photo of Rudy Eugene as happy young toddler. Eugene was shot to death by Miami police as he crouched over Ronald Poppo's limp body, naked and growling, chewing off chunks of the man's face. (Miami Herald/MCT via Getty Images)

  • Rudy Eugene

    A photo of Rudy Eugene as happy young toddler. Eugene was shot to death by Miami police as he crouched over Ronald Poppo's limp body, naked and growling, chewing off chunks of the man's face. (Miami Herald/MCT via Getty Images)

  • Rudy Eugene

    A photo of Rudy Eugene as happy young toddler. Eugene was shot to death by Miami police as he crouched over Ronald Poppo's limp body, naked and growling, chewing off chunks of the man's face. (Miami Herald/MCT via Getty Images)

  • Ronald Poppo At Stuyvestant High

    Ronald Poppo <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/30/ronald-poppo-face-eating-victim-miami-stuyvesant-high-school_n_1556692.html?utm_hp_ref=rudy-eugene" target="_hplink">attended New York City's prestigious Stuyvesant High School</a> before becoming homeless and lost to his family for decades.

  • In a <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/12/ronald-poppo-face-chewing_n_1590459.html" target="_hplink">photo released June 12</a>, Ronald Poppo walks with assistance at Jackson Memorial Hospital.

  • A photo <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/12/ronald-poppo-face-chewing_n_1590459.html" target="_hplink">released June 12 by Jackson Memorial Hospital</a> shows progress treating Ronald Poppo's horrific injuries.

  • A City of Miami police officer stands watch near the scene where a naked man, far right, was shot dead on the MacArthur Causeway ramp onto Northeast 13th Street in Miami on Saturday, May 26, 2012. A witness said the naked man continued to chew on the face of another naked man on a Miami highway ramp and growled when a police officer tried to stop him. The victim remained hospitalized Monday. (AP Photo/The Miami Herald, Marsha Halper) MAGS OUT

  • Crime Scene investigator Andres Betancourt photographs a credit card found at the scene belonging to Rudy Eugene, Tuesday, May 29, 2012 in Miami. Authorities were seeking more witnesses Tuesday to help explain what led Eugene, who was naked, to start chewing another naked man's face and whose only response when confronted by police was to growl and keep attacking - even after being shot by police Saturday. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

  • First responders treat Ronald Poppo after the attack.

  • This 2008 video shows Rudy Eugene in Miami-Dade bond court on charges of marijuana possession and marijuana possession with intent to distribute.

  • Rudy Eugene, undated photo

  • Ronald Poppo

  • Westbound traffic on the MacArthur Causeway, approaching the Northeast 13th Street ramp in Miami, is backed up Saturday May 26, 2012, after a police officer fatally shot a naked man on the ramp who was chewing on the face of another naked man. The victim remained hospitalized Monday. (AP Photo/The Miami Herald, Marsha Halper) MAGS OUT

  • Scene of attack

  • Rudy Eugene's Longtime Girlfriend

    Rikkia Cross cries as she talks about her relationship with Rudy Eugene.

  • Girlfriend Says Face-Chewing Attacker Was Religious

    A South Florida woman says she often read religious texts with a man who is accused of chewing off the face of a homeless man. Rudy Eugene was shot and killed by police. (June 6)

  • Gloria Allred, Yovonka Bryant

    Yovanka Bryant,left, and her lawyer, Gloria Allred, discuss a recent attack on a homeless man by Brant's boyfriend Rudy Eugene, during a news conference, Wednesday, June 6, 2012 in Miami. Bryant said she last heard from Eugene, the day before he chewed off the face of a homeless man alongside a Miami highway. A police officer shot and killed Eugene. The homeless man remains hospitalized. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)

  • Gloria Allred, Yovonka Bryant

    Yovanka Bryant, right, and her lawyer, Gloria Allred, show a photo of Bryant and her boyfriend Rudy Eugene, during a news conference, Wednesday, June 6, 2012 in Miami. Bryant said she last heard from Eugene the day before he chewed off the face of a homeless man alongside a Miami highway. A police officer shot and killed Eugene. The homeless man remains hospitalized. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)

  • Full 18-Minute Attack Surveillance Footage

  • Photos Released of Face-Chewing Victim in Miami

    Doctors release photos of Ronald Poppo, the 65-year-old homeless man who was the victim of a gruesome face-eating attack in Miami.

  • Miami Homeless Discuss Face-Eating Attack

    Homeless men who live near where one man allegedly ate the face of a homeless man react to the crime. (May 30)