Puerto Rican Boxer Held Without Bail After Lover Found Dead

by akoloy

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico—A federal decide on Monday ordered Puerto Rican boxer Félix Verdejo held with out bail after he was charged within the dying of his 27-year-old pregnant lover whose physique was present in a lagoon.

Verdejo is charged with kidnapping and carjacking ensuing within the dying of Keishla Rodríguez and with deliberately killing an unborn youngster. He didn’t make any feedback throughout Monday’s digital listening to during which he relied on a translator.

“This is a death penalty-eligible case,” stated Judge Camille Vélez.

A felony grievance filed by the FBI accuses Verdejo of punching Rodríguez within the face and injecting her with a syringe full of an unidentified substance purchased at a public housing complicated. It alleges he then sure her arms and toes with wire, tied a heavy block to her earlier than throwing her off a bridge at 8:30 a.m. Thursday after which shot at her physique.

The grievance says a witness it didn’t determine helped Verdejo kidnap and kill Rodríguez.

The U.S. authorities has 30 days to current the case to a federal grand jury; in the meantime, a date for Verdejo’s subsequent listening to has but to be introduced.

body of 27-year-old Keishla Rodriguez
Authorities retrieve the physique of 27-year-old Keishla Rodriguez, left, from the San Jose lagoon after she was reported lacking in San Juan, Puerto Rico on May 1, 2021. (Carlos Giusti/AP Photo)

Rodríguez, who was reported lacking on Thursday after she didn’t present up for her job at an animal grooming enterprise, was present in a lagoon close to the U.S. territory’s capital on Saturday. Officials recognized her Sunday through dental information.

Verdejo and his attorneys beforehand declined remark, and police stated the boxer didn’t initially cooperate and refused to reply questions.

Rodríguez’s household stated she was pregnant with Verdejo’s youngster. Keila Ortiz, the sufferer’s mom, instructed reporters that her daughter known as on Thursday and instructed her Verdejo was going to her home to see the outcomes of a being pregnant take a look at.

“I told her, ‘Be careful,’ because he had already threatened her,” Ortiz stated. She stated Verdejo had instructed her daughter to not have the newborn, mentioning his profession and household.

mother of Keishla Rodriguez
Keila Ortiz, the mom of Keishla Rodriguez, second from left, cries out for justice after boxer Felix Verdejo was arrested in reference to the dying of her 27-year-old pregnant daughter whose physique was present in a lagoon, exterior FBI headquarters in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on May 2, 2021. (Carlos Giusti/AP Photo)

Verdejo is married and has a younger daughter however had recognized Rodríguez since center faculty and maintained a relationship along with her, her dad and mom stated.

Verdejo represented Puerto Rico on the 2012 Olympics and have become knowledgeable boxer that 12 months, competing within the light-weight division. His profession was quickly sidetracked after he was hospitalized following a 2016 bike accident.

The case has outraged many in Puerto Rico, the place one other girl was lately discovered burned to dying after she filed a home violence grievance {that a} decide dismissed. A Superior Court decide has introduced an investigation into that call.

Hundreds of individuals gathered Sunday at a bridge that crosses the lagoon the place Rodríguez’s physique was discovered to demand justice for her and different girls killed, with some throwing flowers into the water beneath. Another protest was organized on Monday, the place folks gathered close to the governor’s mansion to demand that officers do a greater job of defending victims of home violence.

By Danica Coto

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