Illinois family outraged at no murder charge in teen’s death due to ‘mutual combat’

"How is it mutual combat when my son didn't have anything to combat with?" asks Manuel Porties of the state's attorney's office decision.

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An Illinois family mourning the death of their 18-year-old son is outraged that no murder charges will be filed in conjunction with his death due to what prosecutors are calling “mutual combat.” 

Manuel Porties, Jr. was killed Tuesday after being stabbed to death during a recorded, planned fight in Schaumburg, a town located 30 miles east of Chicago. 

The family of 18-year-old Manuel Porties, Jr. is outraged that no murder charges will be filed in conjunction with his death because of what prosecutors are calling “mutual combat.” (Photo: Screenshot/WGN 9)

According to WGN 9, video of the fight shows Porties Jr. being punched in the face by a 17-year-old, who then stabs him in the neck as he lies on the ground. 

The younger teenager has not been identified but has been charged with misdemeanor unlawful use of a weapon. 

“They’re saying that it’s mutual combat,” said the slain man’s father, Manuel Porties. “How is it mutual combat when my son didn’t have anything to combat with? The only thing he had was his two hands.”

“He stood over my son and finished him,” he added, “and that’s not murder?”

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In a statement, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office said, “After an extensive review of the available information presented to us, including a discussion with the Schaumburg Police Department, we determined that the evidence was insufficient to meet our burden of proof to file murder charges.” 

“As prosecutors, we have both an ethical and legal obligation to make charging decisions based on the evidence, facts and the law.” they maintain. “The CCSAO is committed to the work of justice, and we are currently meeting with the victim’s family, during this difficult time, to ensure that they are aware of our decision and why the evidence did not support the filing of criminal charges.”

According to the blog post of Illinois attorney David L. Freidberg, who is not involved in the case, “The term ‘mutual combat’ is defined as two individuals engaged in a physical confrontation with each other, usually because of an instantaneous quarrel where tempers are at their heights.” 

“Mutual combat can be seen as another version of ‘self-defense’ used in most cases when the alleged victim is proven to be the actual aggressor in the confrontation,” Freidberg contended.

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