Teen charged after ref dies from punch

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Teen charged after ref dies from punch

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah - Family and friends honored the memory of a Utah soccer referee at an emotional funeral service Wednesday evening just hours after the teenager, who punched him before he fell into a coma, was charged with homicide by assault.

After an afternoon wake at a community center, a group of men carried a wooden casket with the remains of Ricardo Portillo in silence about a quarter-mile to a nearby Catholic church. There, about 200 people - most wearing white shirts - listened to a funeral service conducted in Spanish.

Earlier Wednesday, the teenager who police say punched Portillo was charged with homicide by assault, a count issued when an attack unintentionally causes death.

Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill said he will seek to try the teen as an adult.

The charge is less serious than manslaughter. It carries a possible sentence of up to five years in prison for adults, but penalties can be less for juveniles.

AP

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