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Teen goalie charged with homicide by assault in death of referee

Prosecutors will seek to certify 17-year-old as an adult

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  • Denver2Portland Denver, CO
    May 8, 2013 1:15 p.m.

    Good! Teach this kid a lesson. Hopefully this teaches all parents, kids, etc., to keep cool and just remember it's just a game while playing or at a game.

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    May 8, 2013 1:48 p.m.

    I suspect this kid probably has a history of out-of-control temper problems. This kid is in deep doo doo.

  • conservative scientist Lindon, UT
    May 8, 2013 3:14 p.m.

    This is a tragic situation. I don't agree with violence in any form and there are likely only very few who really know this child's background, although many posters seem to be expert on the intricacies of his childhood and the nature of his problems - and they are perhaps correct, but may not be as well.

    We should all be cautious before we rush to judgement. It is extremely unlikely that he meant to murder someone. Again, violence is never acceptable, but occasionally kids fight and it was likely a terrible accident. It is possible that this may have been a temporary lapse in judgment rather than indicative of his entire character and of his past, present, and future prospects. Justice must certainly be served and I feel awful for the victim and all his family and friends, but I would still rather err on the side of mercy regarding this young man. It is possible that trying this young man as an adult, with all that this implies, could make a terrible situation even worse.

  • Aggielove Cache county, USA
    May 8, 2013 3:41 p.m.

    Not sure of the details here, but is it safe to say, that parents go way overboard with there children's sports?

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    May 8, 2013 3:47 p.m.

    This kid is lucky to not be charged as the murderer he is.

    Send him away. Make an example out of him. Let this serve as a deterrent for future bad sportsmanship. Parents and kids, y'all best think twice before lashing out at other referees, umpires, officials, and coaches. To the Latino league, time to clean up your act!

  • Owl Salt Lake City, UT
    May 8, 2013 4:04 p.m.

    Dear conservative scientist,
    When you swing at the referee's head you intend to do bodily harm. "Oh, I only meant to break his nose or put out an eye, not kill him." Such distinctions are of little comfort to Mr. Portillo's family.

  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    May 8, 2013 4:28 p.m.

    They didn't say who broke the coaches leg or his ribs earlier, but it sounds as if violence is accepted by the league and parents attending the games.

    This was an accident waiting to happen.

  • JBQ Saint Louis, MO
    May 8, 2013 4:53 p.m.

    With respect for Ricardo Portillo, who tried to help his community. He did honorable labor at a mattress factory to support a loving family. Very sad result for an honorable man.

  • Obama10 SYRACUSE, UT
    May 8, 2013 4:55 p.m.

    This is a terrible tragedy for both families and a 17 year old who has ruined his life in a moment of heated passion. How many of us have done stupid things in our lives, especially as teenagers. The "mob mentality" of "making an example" of him is a little rampant. As Attorney Gill stated, "he didn't intend to kill him". He and his family will pay dearly for the uncontrolled passion of this young man, if through no other ways legal fees and a civil wrongful death suit, not too mention the life-long guilt. Hopefully if you are ever in need of a little mercy and grace, others will be kinder to you, than some of the comments on this board.

  • Cleetorn Fuaamotu, Tonga
    May 8, 2013 5:54 p.m.

    The line between justice and mercy is razor-thin here. While justice for this crime must be satisfied and punishment be meted out without delay, relegating this impulsive youngster over to the adult detention system will only cultivate and harden further criminal tendencies. While his intent was not to kill, that was still his effect. Nobody else forced him to cock his fist back and let it fly. Who goes out drinking, gets sloshed and climbs into a car with the intent to kill? Does that make a resulting death any less impactful just because there is a lack of intention?

    No, justice cannot be robbed but the merits of mercy need to be examined, too. A message needs to be sent but at what cost? After having worked in the prison system for over 30 years, I can tell see what the future holds for the boy. When/if he returns to society, he will have the best training available conducive to continued criminality. Thus, we will gleefully throw away two lives for the price of one. Is that really what’s best? I’m glad I’m not the one who has to decide.

  • VIDAR Murray, UT
    May 8, 2013 6:03 p.m.

    The charges are fair. He needs to serve time in prison for killing another person. My guess is he would serve the entire five years. Do we really want to send people to prison for their entire life; that kill someone in a fistfight? Every man should think about that who has ever been in a fight. What if it was me? Some loudmouth insults your wife/girlfriend you hit and kill them, should you be in prison for the rest of your life? Some guy almost hits your kid in a car, you get mad and hit his roof, he gets out, you hit him and kill him. should you spend the rest of your life in prison. This was a seventeen year old kid that probably was never told that hitting another person could kill them. how many high school kids get in fights? On a football field out of anger? they hit each other all the time. Do you want the law to be that if your high school kid hits another kid on a football field that results in a death that they spend the rest of their life in prison?

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    May 8, 2013 6:15 p.m.

    He'd potentially do more time if they just stuck to Aggravated Assault.

  • Brian Wasilla, AK
    May 8, 2013 7:03 p.m.

    VIDAR: Fistfight? This wasn't a fistfight just a cheap shot by a cowardly individual.

  • Red Salt Lake City, UT
    May 8, 2013 8:46 p.m.

    Parents who want to win soooooo bad that they yell at the referee over every silly call they disagree with are part of the problem.

    This event has been brewing for years. All the silly coaches who have temper tantrums and the parents who don't know the difference between competitive and combative are all part of the problem.

    Football parents take good notes because you are heading down the same path.

    Time to realize that our kids need love not your pressure to win.

    Everyone go look in the mirror and see if you are part of the problem.

  • toosmartforyou Farmington, UT
    May 9, 2013 12:26 a.m.

    Real tough, this kid, to hit a defenseless sports official without any indication that he was going to do that.

    And yes, VIDAR, your examples are such that indeed, if you can't control yourse3lf and resort to violent acts to get back at someone and they are killed, then you need to pay the penalty. If you hit someone who insults your wife/girl friend then you don't know how to handle the situation. For those types there is room at the prison if the result is another person's death. And rightly so.

    A big mouth many times can get you into trouble. (I've known a few immature adults that can't hold their tounge and have had a fist suddenly up-side their head so it does happen, unfortunately.) In this case, a bad temper got the 17-year old into trouble because it resulted in a death. No way can that behavior come even close to being justified in any way.

    The soccer league needs to clean house; this behavior is absolutely unacceptable.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    May 9, 2013 7:59 a.m.

    Re: " It is extremely unlikely that he meant to murder someone."

    Yeah -- so who cares?

    The facts indicate he clearly intended to deliver a vicious, sucker-punch to someone who wasn't even looking, let alone prepared to guard against it. And that he was motivated by nothing more than a sense of personal pique over a trivial matter.

    That's why his actions are so dangerous. And why the law takes his kind of predatory behavior so very seriously.

    Nothing short of a long, long jail sentence can send the proper message to this young miscreant, and to others similarly situated -- like the young toughs in the same league who twice previously attacked and inflicted serious injuries on this same ref.

  • Mugabe ACWORTH, GA
    May 9, 2013 8:01 a.m.

    Well, we can detest the act of that young boy, but we have become a nation of Gladiators. This behavior is exhibited in boxing, cage fighting and, yes, going to war against innocent people of another nation. We have taught our kids that if someone does something to them that they don't like, just retaliate, and this is what our children are doing. We are constantly at war with each other, just about every little thing that happens. Can we, or should we, expect any less for our children?

    Secondly, I don't think that the District Attorney, or anyone else, for that matter, should have the authority to change the status of an individual, just to be able to inflict more punishment on them. And for any of us to be in agreement with this, then, we should not have any problem with our legislature changing the gender of a man to that of a woman, to justify 'Same Sex Marriages."

    We complain about issues such as this, then, when situations like this happens, we reinforce, in our leaders, the idea that they have the power to change the Natural Laws. What will it be?

  • MormonSean Salt Lake City, UT
    May 9, 2013 8:20 a.m.

    When I was a teenager I got in fights and made stupid decisions. The adults who wanted to "lay down the law" and teach me a lesson only infuriated me more and I didn't listen to them. Why? Because they never listened to me. They seemed to assume I lived the same life as them, with the same understanding of responsibility and accountability.

    Fortunately for me I had a few mentors who showed understanding and forgiveness and gave me a few second chances. They taught instead of fought. Punishments rarely teach lessons, meanwhile people offering to help work miracles.

    I believe the DA made a very wise decision. I do not agree with charging him as an adult because the justice system ought to account for age more accurately. But as it does not, the DA recommended something in between. Some of us have called for showing partial mercy for very valid reasons. Some of us have called for trying him as an adult and throwing the book at him, and hard.

    This is a compromise that satisfies the demands of both sides. The only people it doesn't satisfy want vengeance, not justice.

  • AZ Blue & Red Gilbert, AZ
    May 9, 2013 8:52 a.m.

    None of us can speak for this young man who made a serious mistake. Justice must be served. I think we all agree on that. BUT ruining 2 lives (and families) I think is not in the best interest of anyone. If this young man shows by his actions that he has not learned anything or has the same problems and tendencies then he needs to have the "book" thrown at him BUT if he is willing and can turn his life around, show sorrow and remorse I think we all should let him have a chance. (after the proper punishment). I am sure he would like to take that stupid moment of anger back. There are things we all wish we could take back BUT we can not.

    Crucify him is easy to say but not deserved in this case. Justice and punishment yes, as well as proper mercy unless he shows by his actions that more justice and punishment is needed. Since we do not know him or his situation we need to let the proper authorities make this determination.

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    May 9, 2013 8:56 a.m.

    I wonder how much violent video and movies this guy has watched. Has he observed coaches and parents and other players scream at the referee? I can't justify what he did but he's a product of a violent society. How can we get our society out of this immersion in violence? Something has to change or these kinds of things will happen again and again.

  • Jim G Mesa, AZ
    May 9, 2013 9:38 a.m.

    MormonSean: Just because people are angered by this act does not mean they only want vengeance. As you know, in Mormon doctrine, taking a life is an extremely serious sin because the victim's life, dreams, goals, opportunities and associations have been cut short. Further, their friends and family have been irreparably harmed. Repentance for the life-taker, in its full measure, is not possible because restitution - bringing the person back to life - is not possible. While the young man almost certainly did not want to kill, he certainly meant to cause harm, and the harm he did is permanent. Despite the sympathy you feel for him, there are consequences to our acts, and those consequences should be appropriate to the harm he did, which was severe.

  • MrsH Altamont, UT
    May 9, 2013 9:53 a.m.

    I love the shirts they are wearing. What a great tribute to their Dad.
    God bless this family.

  • MormonSean Salt Lake City, UT
    May 9, 2013 10:34 a.m.

    JSB,

    As much as game violence is a valid concern, aggression in sports has existed since long before video games.

    Jim G

    On an earlier article I quoted President Hinckley's talk, entitled "Forgiveness".

    "There are hardened criminals who may have to be locked up. There are unspeakable crimes, such as deliberate murder and rape, that justify harsh penalties. But there are some who could be saved from long, stultifying years in prison because of an unthoughtful, foolish act. Somehow forgiveness, with love and tolerance, accomplishes miracles that can happen in no other way."

    Again... I want mercy, but I still uphold justice. Everyone assuming more or less than what I've said judge my words without the facts. On another article I was falsely accused of showing no compassion for the family. My accuser had limited knowledge, yet condemned my words.

    We are commanded to forgive. Some add conditions to that commandment. They have every right to. I don't even disagree with that. But we will be judged by the same measure. To each his own.

    All I'm saying is that this boy fits into President Hinckley's second category. Judge him as you will.

  • Jim G Mesa, AZ
    May 9, 2013 10:53 a.m.

    MormonSean. I understand your points, but forgiveness does not preclude justice. While this young man can be forgiven for his offense, that forgiveness does not excuse him from the justice he is required to face.

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    May 9, 2013 1:17 p.m.

    Luke 6:37
    Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.

    Colossians 3:13
    Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

    Matthew 6:14-16
    For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

  • Eliot Santaquin, UT
    May 9, 2013 2:07 p.m.

    Justice is served when a punishment is administered that fits the crime committed. Inflicting a more severe punishment on someone for the purpose of sending a message to others is not justice.

  • MormonSean Salt Lake City, UT
    May 9, 2013 8:00 p.m.

    Jim G,

    I didn't say it did. I have not once said it. I haven't even implied it. In fact, I keep having to repeat myself in saying that I in fact desire justice to be upheld.

    What I believe:

    The boy committed a crime.
    To satisfy justice, a punishment needs to be assigned.
    To satisfy our requirement to forgive, it is necessary that we let go of our hard feelings and desire and work to help the boy rather than get even.

    All I have stated is my belief in what is said in John 8:3-11 and 3 Nephi 12:37-48. I have stated "Yea, yea; Nay, nay". I have not said more or less than what is in the scriptures. I have not said justice should be robbed. I have not even implied it. I have EVEN stated my support for justice. I have EVEN re-clarified my belief and statements for those who keep accusing me of something I have not done.

    Have you heard it yet? Do you now understand that I have only defended the scriptures as being true? What will it take from me?

  • washcomom Beaverton, OR
    May 10, 2013 11:17 a.m.

    "Gill said the case does not rise to the level of murder or manslaughter. But a charge of homicide by assault can be filed when a person "causes the death of another while intentionally or knowingly" trying to injure another person."
    I always wondered the difference between all the different charges. Each state has their own terminology, so this one was a bit different to me.
    It's just a shame to have to have something like this in the law.

  • AmberDru Xenia, OH
    May 10, 2013 6:49 p.m.

    Odd that the parents of the teen have not been in the paper. Usually they are immediately in front of the cameras saying what a good kid the perp is. Where are the parents? What statements have they made?