Utah prosecutor weighs charges in soccer ref death

By Brady Mccombs

Associated Press

Published: Monday, May 6 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

FILE - In this Thursday, May 2, 2013 file photo, Jose Lopez points to an undated photo of Ricardo Portillo, center, his brother-in-law, following a news conference, at Intermountain Medical Center, in Murray, Utah. Portillo, a 46-year-old soccer referee who was punched by a teenage player during a game and later slipped into a coma died Saturday night, May 4, 2013, police said. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

Rick Bowmer, 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.

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