Kodiak Daily Mirror - Murder trial set for Jan
Murder trial set for Jan.
by Daily Mirror Staff
Aug 28, 2012 | 336 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A trial date has been set for one of the men charged with the murder of Austin Van Long, who died in a street racing incident in Kodiak on Oct. 20, 2011.

The trial of Markryan Portillo will begin on Jan. 7, 2013. Portillo faces murder and first-degree assault charges.

The murder charge carries a 99-year maximum sentence. The assault charge is a class A felony, punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

Judge Steve Cole granted Portillo bail during a hearing on Monday morning. Portillo will be transferred to a jail in Anchorage. Once his bond is posted there, he will be released to a third party custodian living in Anchorage. He will not be allowed to return to Kodiak until his trial.

The charges stem from an alleged street racing incident on the Fred Zharoff Memorial Bridge. Long, 19, was a passenger in Portillo’s vehicle, and William Mecham was the driver of the other racing vehicle. Mecham’s car collided with Portillo’s vehicle while he was attempting to avoid a third vehicle crossing the bridge in the opposite direction.

Mecham has already entered a plea deal to get reduced charges. He originally faced murder, first-degree assault, second-degree assault and DUI charges. On June 20 Mecham pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide and second-degree assault charges.

Mecham’s sentencing is scheduled to take place at 9:30 a.m. on Oct. 5.

Contact the Mirror at editor@kodiakdailymirror.com.
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