'I was frustrated,' says teen who admits killing referee

Judge orders soccer player to keep photo of victim in his cell until he's 21

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  • Cinci Man FT MITCHELL, KY
    Aug. 6, 2013 1:06 p.m.

    The most important event in this entire case was the fact that the young man told the truth and accepted the consequences for his actions. His own healing and learning, as well as the healing of the victimized family will stand a far better chance because he stood up like a man and recognized that he was wrong on every level. I wish we could teach lawyers, judges, and society that this is the best thing to do. Politicians who constantly do wrong, O.J. Simpson, Whitey Bulger, Jody Arias, and many other criminals do not understand this fundamental principle. We can only pray that through the course of time, all can be forgiven, peace can be found, and lives can be reclaimed, and a good future can be realized. I'm grateful for a wise judge, a rarity, it seems.

  • xert Santa Monica, CA
    Aug. 6, 2013 11:45 a.m.

    Terrible, sad and depressing. My heart goes out to this family. The only way this can have any kind of decent outcome, is if this young man comes out of juvenile detention, sets his life on a course and goes on to help many, many others. For this to happen is going to take the strong minded work of incredibly talented adults. But it can happen. Even if his job prospects are in serious jeopardy and he carries this crime with him for the rest of his life--if the seed is planted correctly now, his life can be successful and have meaning, post punishment. I pray for the family of the man who died. I also pray for the people who will be watching over this kid over the next three or four years.

  • JohnJacobJingleHeimerSchmidt Beverly Hills, CA
    Aug. 5, 2013 10:02 p.m.

    4 year? That's all? That is not enough time and this guy will be out on the street with volatile temper to hurt people again. 4 years? What a joke.

  • Machado South Jordan, UT
    Aug. 5, 2013 6:55 p.m.

    moniker: Most criminal activity is learned in prison. We have probably the least effective rehabilitation plan known to man.

  • sanpaco Sandy, UT
    Aug. 5, 2013 6:37 p.m.

    I don't know the kid and I wasn't there but in my opinion, this whole thing only serves to ruin more lives than it already has. The kid definitely needs to go through some kind of penalty, counseling, community service, something... but prison? And sentenced to hang the picture of Portillo on his wall and write a weekly letter to the family telling them how he's changed? How is that not cruel and unusual? That seems a little contrived. How is the family ever going to know if anything he says is sincere when he is required by law to write it instead of doing so of his own will? My sister was killed by a negligent driver. The kid felt awful and we understood as a family that it was not his intention to take my sister's life. I wish every day that he had checked for traffic before pulling in front of her, but he didn't. I can't help but feel the same about this situation. The kid needed to calm down, yes. But it was not his intention to kill.

  • I know it. I Live it. I Love it. Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 5, 2013 6:04 p.m.

    The sentencing was fair. We all know it's fair. Complaining about it, outside of those actually involved, only comes from people who want to complicate everything. Those people are problem makers, not solvers. The Judge made a problem solving decision. It doesn't have to be one everyone loves, or even likes. But it serves justice while offering him a second chance.

    The fact that Johana Portillo called it a "50-50" is very admirable. Their wanting to try to forgive because their father "would have wanted that" (as one of them said before), is very admirable. It is an expression of love for their father and is good on all accounts. God's plan isn't for us to live miserable lives, but to find happiness through our struggles. They seem to be trying to choose that, which I commend.

    And finally, the letters. The sentiment is right, but problematic. Young people aren't articulate, at all... which can often lead to offending people even more. I hope both 'sides' can avoid that.

    It could also be extremely redundant. Week 1: I'm sorry. Week 2: I'm sorry. Week 162...

    Hopefully good dialog will result.

  • moniker lewinsky Taylorsville, UT
    Aug. 5, 2013 5:23 p.m.

    I think that the prison population is probably a lot more diverse than most of us realize and that it is not, in fact, comprised primarily of people who are willfully rebellious. Of course, some people are definitely lowlifes and thugs. But sometimes all it takes is bad judgment brought on by addiction or something that, given slightly different circumstances, would never have happened at all. This is something many people realize for the first time when they have a loved one who is going through or has gone through the system.
    Here in the US our prisons are getting fuller and fuller. Sometimes there is no other choice but I wonder if we couldn't be doing things a whole lot better.
    I wish I could say more on the subject, but even with a moniker, I won't. But this is something that has affected my life significantly and tragically and I have really lost a lot of faith in the criminal justice system. And I used to work for it.

  • moniker lewinsky Taylorsville, UT
    Aug. 5, 2013 5:13 p.m.

    This is very sad. My heart goes out to the victim's family, but also the young man and his family. It's sad that one moment of bad judgment can result in so much destruction and heartache. I think trying him as a youth was the right thing to do. The fact is that at this age, kids' brains simply aren't fully developed. That doesn't happen for several more years.
    It would be easy to paint this kid as a horrible person. But how many of us have had a moment of terrible judgment where instead of something horrible resulting, the whole thing just blew over. I think it's right that he should have to do some time, but I don't think that it was ever his intent to cause severe harm, let alone take a life.
    I'm glad that he will have to keep a picture of the victim and write letters to the daughters. I truly hope that he will learn something from this experience and have an opportunity to make something of himself some day. The capacity to make a horrible choices is within most of us.

  • DN Subscriber 2 SLC, UT
    Aug. 5, 2013 4:57 p.m.

    About as close to justice as we can hope for.

    Nothing will bring a good man back, and his family and community are forever deprived of his love, earnings and service. No punishment will fix that.

    The admitted killer acted rashly, and with malice in response to a legitimate referee call in a GAME, and his actions are totally inexcusable. However, he does not seem to be a career criminal, or a person who cannot function in society. Little would be served by locking him up for life, other than retribution, albeit well deserved. Perhaps he will come out a better person, able to control his impulses, and to teach others. Or, he may come out as a bitter individual blaming everyone but himself.

    I hope the victim's family will do well in the future and their hurt will be eased, and that the killer will continue to repent and reform, and come out to live the rest of his life as good a person as the man he killed.

  • anti-liar Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 5, 2013 3:39 p.m.

    "[Prosecutor Patricia Cassell] said a report prepared before the certification hearing recommended that Teran not be certified as an adult."

    "a" report? Whose report? I find this all very strange. One moment, the prosecutor's office is actively pursuing adult certification, and then the next moment, they're doing an about face because of a plea on a slam-dunk case? Doesn't make sense. Something is missing to this story.

  • Dixie Dan Saint George, UT
    Aug. 5, 2013 3:36 p.m.

    Can the Portillo family pursue a civil complaint against the defendant? If so, and they secure a judgment, can they recover compensation from the defendant when he is released?

  • There You Go Again Saint George, UT
    Aug. 5, 2013 3:25 p.m.

    My earlier comment comparing sentencing guidelines for possession of 1 pound of marijuana as opposed to the probable sentencing of a 17 year old who admits to killing a referee was denied because the comment was disruptive or off topic.

    I was invited to edit as well as re-submit my comment.

    In Utah the maximum sentence for possession of 1 pound of marijuana is $5000 or 5 years or both.

    In Utah the probable sentence for admitting to killing a referee is 4 years.

    The difference between the two penalties is amazing.

  • LeDoc SLC, UT
    Aug. 5, 2013 3:24 p.m.

    I thought the attempt by the prosecution to try him as an adult had more to do with the DA's future political aspirations than anything else.I wonder about the requirement to have the photo up where he must see it daily. Is this judge a qualified mental health specialist? That's a real as opposed to rhetorical question btw as I have no idea what the answer is. My thought s that there could be more harm done than good. Utah is already an over medicated state. I've luckily never caused a fatality but it's not that it couldn't have happened. I would imagine this kid was shocked discover that his blow had the effect it did. I think on how lucky I've been and then I wonder how my mental state would be affected if all of my transgressions over the years were post it notes on my mirror or some revolving virtual display constantly telling me how bad I was.

  • Machado South Jordan, UT
    Aug. 5, 2013 3:23 p.m.

    I don't know anything about any of the people involved so I should just keep my mouth shut and not say a thing. However, I was filled with deep sadness for everyone involved as I ready this article. Mostly, I hope the Portillo family learns the healing that comes from complete forgiveness. There is nothing they can do to this boy that will ease their pain. From the article, I don't believe they are the kind of people that would ever get satisfaction out of seeing his life potentially ruined in "the system."

    From the description of the boy, I think he will find himself amongst people much different than he is. I wish there was another punishment that would help him repay society and the Portilla family rather than surround him with people who are willfully rebellious. I hope he has the inner strength to keep free from the attitudes and habits that land most people in custody.

    Lives have already been ruined and I wish it could stop here. Unfortunately, it seems likely that lives will continue to be ruined in the future.