Teen pleads guilty in ref death
Salt Lake City - A teenager charged with killing a Utah soccer referee because he didn't like the man's call during a game pleaded guilty on Monday to a charge of homicide by assault in a case that brought new attention to the issue of violence and sportsmanship in athletics. The plea deal was hashed out between the teen's attorneys and prosecutors as the judge planned to hear testimony to decide if the 17-year-old suspect would be tried in juvenile or adult court. Under the deal, prosecutors agreed to keep the case in juvenile court.
Police say the teenager punched 46-year-old Ricardo Portillo once in the head on April 27 after the referee called a foul on him. Portillo died after a week long coma, leaving behind three daughters.
The teenager, whose name The Associated Press is withholding due to his age, was charged with homicide by assault, a count issued when an attack unintentionally causes death. "I was frustrated at the ref and caused his death," the teenager said, speaking softly, when Juvenile Court Judge Kimberly Hornak asked him what happened.
Hornak ordered him to put up a picture in his cell of Portillo and write his daughters a letter every week about how he's improving himself so that he's reminded constantly of the pain he caused the family.... Read the full, comprehensive news article and discuss at SPORT24