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Ref that was assaulted by 17 yr old player dies

I posted last week about a 17 yr punchin a soccor ref in the face because he got a yellow card putting the ref in critical condtion. The ref died over the weekend.

Prosecutors Monday will begin reviewing evidence surrounding the death of a local soccer referee who passed away after being assaulted by a 17-year-old player.

Prosecutors could decide whether to press murder or other charges against the teen in adult court.

Ricardo Portillo, 46, died late Saturday night after being in a coma for several days. He was officiating a game on April 27 and issued a yellow card during the game, penalizing a 17-year-old player. The player punched Portillo in the head, police said.

The suspect has been booked into juvenile detention on suspicion of aggravated assault.

Legal analyst Tanya Lewis explained that in Utah, prosecutors have discretion whether to charge a 16- or 17-year-old as an adult without a hearing in juvenile court. Lewis said determining factors include the seriousness of the crime.

She said prosecutors also may look at prior convictions, allegations, and behavior. "Is this a good kid who just made a terrible mistake one day?" Lewis said.

"There's a variety of factors and they're going to look at all of those things," Lewis said. "They're also going to consider justice for the victim's family and for the victim, too. "

The teen already faces the prospect of an aggravated assault charge in juvenile court. If he is charged as an adult, several charges are possible, Lewis said.

  • Homicide by assault
    "That is when an assault occurs and the victim passes away. That's typically in a case such as this. It appears where there were unintended consequences; this is not what the teenager desired to have happen. So that's one option," Lewis said.

    Felony murder 

  • "I don't think that's very likely here," Lewis said. "You would have to show that this teenager did things that constituted a depraved indifference to life. This is usually reserved for very heinous crimes."


  • "The prosecution would have to show that the teen acted recklessly," Lewis explained.

She said facing charges as an adult would be very different from appearing in juvenile court, because the rules are very different.

"Cases are typically closed (in juvenile court)," Lewis said. "Media does not have a right to be there. Cases typically are sealed and the punishments are much more lenient than you would find in adult court."

The district attorney is expected to decide on any possible charges this week.

What do you think should happen to this kid? I still stand by he needs to be charged as an adult. I think homicide by assault or manslaughter. I can't believe they are debating if he should be charged as an adult. He is less then a year from being legally considered an adult. He did a senseless act and now we are considering his feelings and life? What about the life he took?


Asked by LostSoul88 at 10:56 AM on May. 6, 2013 in Politics & Current Events

Level 40 (119,496 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (11)
  • I remember a question a while back about middle and high schoolers bullying other kids.
    In one highly publicized case the young man took his own life.
    I remember that people were calling for the blood of these "kids"
    They did not touch this kid. They did not actively cause this kids death (maybe I should say directly)
    Yet here is a 17 year old the violently attacks a man because he didn't like a sports call and we want to excuse him because he is a "kid"
    At 17 you should have learned how to deal with frustration and anger, especially it you are in anything competitive.
    No this was a murderous act and should be punished to the full extent of the law.
    He has his whole like ahead of him and it will be uined by this? What about this man who will have no life and his wife and children and the effects on their lives. !7 is old enough to be held accountable for your actions.

    Answer by Dardenella at 3:01 PM on May. 7, 2013

  • Devastating. The ref was young with kids and a family. This boy and his family will never be the same either.

    I don't know what should happen to the kid. Yes, he is to blame, but I'm sure he's in his own private hell right now and I can't help but feel terrible for him also.

    Answer by RyansMom001 at 11:23 AM on May. 6, 2013

  • I"m glad I don't have to decide. It would be hard. On one hand you have a grieving family that demands justice on the other you have the family of a young man and you know he never dreamed that hitting someone could kill them. Most likely he didn't even think before hitting him. What he did was wrong and he should have to pay but if he has never been in trouble for anything before perhaps we should take a closer look before juding him. 17 is not an adult. They are not rationale. They run on hormones.

    No he should not get off scott free but if he has been a "good" kid for 17 years do we really want him in jail for 20 learning how to be a career criminal?

    Answer by baconbits at 12:12 PM on May. 6, 2013

  • Too sad. Sounds like a kid who did not know his own strength.

    Answer by virginiamama71 at 12:35 PM on May. 6, 2013

  • How terrible for all involved. I'm betting the kid just lost control of his temper & now look what has happened. His life is forever changed & an innocent man is dead. I'm sure this man had a family & friends who are grieving for him. The whole thing just sucks & I'm glad I don't have to to be the one to make the decision on how to handle this young boy's life. Looking at it from the victim's side, if it was my dad or my husband, I'd be calling for him to be tried as an adult. Looking at it from a parent's side, I'd be begging for my son's future to be spared as much as possible. It's a tough call. Prayers to the victim's family.


    Answer by mrsmom110 at 11:03 AM on May. 6, 2013

  • He should be tried as an adult. He is less than a year away from when he would have been charged as an adult anyway. He hit a man in the head because he got a yellow card in a soccer game. That screams anger issues to me. Call me cold or callous but I don't have any sympathy for this "kid".

    Answer by kmath at 1:18 PM on May. 6, 2013

  • It's really kind of crazy if you think about it. He's 17 and not old enough to drink or smoke but old enough with PARENT permission to enter the military and fight for us. So at 17 is he really an adult or not? On one hand we tell kids that they're not old enough to make a decission about drinking/smoking but on the other they are old enough to die for us. We really can't have it both ways. Old enough to work but not old enough to work past a certain hour. Old enough to drive but not old enough to vote yet. Old enough to father a child but not old enough "most of the time" to marry the child's mom.


    Answer by baconbits at 2:08 PM on May. 6, 2013

  • Hw truly awful! He was in my prayers, and his family and his murderer will continue to be.

    Answer by Ballad at 1:02 PM on May. 6, 2013

  • He will more in likely be charged with involuntary manslaughter. But it is hard telling whether or not he will be tried as an adult. The media didn't say if this kid had a prior history of violence in any way. If it shows that he has a violent history, the judge may very well send him to prison., If this was an isolated event, the judge may try him as a juvenile. If he is tried as juvie it can range from being released to his family, which is kinda unlikely, to a commitment at a juvenile camp or group home or being incarcerated at a state Department of Juvenile Justice facility, where he could be held until the age of 20,
    I feel for the victim's family, but I also feel for the teen's family also. They may lose their son as well.

    Answer by Michigan-Mom74 at 1:23 AM on May. 7, 2013

  • I don't know exactly what they should charge him with, but I do think he definitely should be tried as an adult. He's 17 - whether he intended for this man to die or not, he was more than old enough to understand that assault is wrong. That alone is grounds to charge as an adult. He wasn't a 7 year old that threw a fit, or even a 12 year old who hasn't figured out that he's growing and changing and developing strength and an ability to hurt that he didn't have before. He's a 17 year old who fully understood that laying hands on another person is legally and morally wrong. His brain is adult enough to understand that, so he's adult enough to be charged as an adult.

    Answer by wendythewriter at 1:07 PM on May. 6, 2013