Teen's family apologizes to family of referee he's accused of killing

Published: Friday, June 14 2013 6:50 p.m. MDT

"It was important for the family that this be opened," he said. "The family has always … been open to the media and that these hearings were open to media. They thought it was important, given the nature of the case, the publicity."

Teran’s sister said her family has not spoken to the media out of respect for Portillo’s family. Still, she said, concerns about the way he was being portrayed led them to speak with a reporter from Sports Illustrated “about the kind, loving son and brother our family has known for 17 years.”

“Our hopes and prayers are with the Portillo family, our beloved son and brother Jose, and all those entrusted to make decisions about Jose’s future,” she said.

Sleight said he will fight to keep his client’s case in juvenile court, reiterating that the case involves a teenager, a junior in high school, accused of making a snap judgment.

“This is a 17-year-old kid, this is one decision in his whole entire life and I hope that we as a society aren’t going to hold a 17-year-old accountable to the adult system because of this alleged decision,” Sleight said. “We have a juvenile court system to help protect us from our own folly.”

Meantime, Yapias said, it is important to remember what one family has lost and he urged those in the community to learn from the loss of Ricardo Portillo.

“There’s a family, three kids here, who won’t be there with their dad anymore,” he said. “We need to continue to remind the community that no matter what sport you play, play the game. Don’t get violent. This is not a way to resolve problems.”

The certification hearing is scheduled for Aug. 5-6.

Email: emorgan@deseretnews.com; psamore@deseretnews.com

Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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