Utah Soccer Player Charged with Homicide by Assault

A 17-year-old soccer player has been charged in a Utah juvenile court with homicide by assault following an incident where he allegedly punched a referee; the referee died several days after the supposed assault.

Photo: Shawn Rossi

The Salt Lake County district attorney is reportedly going to attempt to have the youth certified as an adult, thereby transferring the juvenile case to district court.

What is Homicide by Assault?

Under Utah law, homicide by assault occurs when

• A person causes the death of someone else (under circumstances that aren’t classified as aggravated murder, murder or manslaughter) while intentionally or knowingly attempting with unlawful force or violence, to do bodily injury to another.

Homicide by assault is a third degree felony. If a person is found guilty of a third degree felony in adult district court, he could possibly be sentenced to up to five years in prison.

On the other hand, being found guilty of a crime in juvenile court can come with entirely different consequences, some of which may include: detention, work hours, community service and/or fines.

What Will Happen?

Whether or not the case will be handed over to district court depends on the results of a certification hearing to be held in juvenile court. Many factors will be taken into account in that hearing, not the least of which may include the youth’s previous delinquency history (if any), his school record and a psychological evaluation.

What’s your opinion? Should a hot-headed juvenile be treated as an adult? If the juvenile is given adult status, will the punishment fit the crime? We’re certain there will be many points-of-view on these subjects.

Don’t think that your teen has to be charged with a serious crime to warrant the services of an experienced Utah juvenile defense attorney. Anytime a juvenile is charged with an offense, he deserves to have his own legal representation. Call a top Utah juvenile defense attorney today.

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