Utah prosecutor weighs charges in soccer ref death

5/6/2013
ASSOCIATED PRESS
Alex Flores, left, and Silvia Castro place candles at a vigil for Ricardo Portillo, who passed away after injuries he sustained after an assault by a soccer player at a game he was refereeing on April 27.
Alex Flores, left, and Silvia Castro place candles at a vigil for Ricardo Portillo, who passed away after injuries he sustained after an assault by a soccer player at a game he was refereeing on April 27.

SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah prosecutor says he plans to decide within a day or two what charges to file against a teenager whom police say punched a soccer referee who later died after slipping into a coma.

Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill says he and his team are reviewing the evidence and state statutes to determine appropriate charges. Gill says there are strict rules to follow because the suspect is a juvenile.

Police say the 17-year-old, whose name hasn’t been released, struck the 46-year-old Ricardo Portillo in the side of the head during a recreational soccer league match after the referee called a penalty.

Portillo died Saturday after a week in a coma.

The teen is in juvenile detention on suspicion of aggravated assault. He may face more severe charges.