Utah: Decision soon on ref death case

May 6, 2013
By Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY -- A Utah prosecutor says he plans to decide within a day or two what charges to file against a teenager accused of punching 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.