Salt Lake District Attorney Sim Gill filed a homicide by assault charge against the 17-year-old. Gill wants the teenager certified as an adult because he said given the nature of the crime and the age of the suspect, he believes the measure of justice that may be appropriate is appropriate in the adult system.
The teen had a clean record in the Utah Juvenile System.
Maria Alvarado heard about Portillo’s death and knows the accused teen. She never thought the boy her children played soccer with might be capable of such violence.
“It’s awful because he’s a wonderful kid,” Alvarado said. “Are you sure we’re talking about the same kid?”
Alvarado said the 17-year-old is quiet, polite and comes from a good, hard-working family. She said she watched the teen play soccer with his younger brother every weekend before the family moved from the neighborhood about two weeks ago.
“I feel really bad,” Alvarado added. “I can just imagine what the family is going through.”
Alvarado also said she also feels for the Portillo family. She called the incident a tragedy that makes no sense.
Portillo was punched on April 27 at a soccer game for pulling a yellow card on the teen. Portillo slipped into a coma and died May 4.
The teenager’s attorney filed a motion to close all future hearings to the public and media. The motion postponed a hearing scheduled for the teen on Wednesday afternoon.
A judge has to decide if the 17-year-old will be tried as an adult.