In a rather shocking story, Puerto Rican Olympic boxer Felix Verdejo is facing up to the death penalty for violently offing a woman he recently got pregnant. The 27 year old’s girlfriend Keishla Rodríguez, whose disappearance caused protests has resulted in Verdejo turning himself in Sunday and was arrested according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Puerto Rico.
At nearly two months pregnant, Rodriguez had told her mother and was planning to tell Verdejo. Her mother said he “had threatened her before to not have the baby, to get an abortion [because] he has his family, he is a boxer [and] a public figure.”
An unidentified witness “with firsthand, personal knowledge” said they were contacted by Verdejo for “his help to terminate the pregnancy.” The witness said Thursday they were in her SUV when he punched her in the face and she “was injected with a syringe filled with substances.” Verdejo and the unidentified witness tied her feet together with wire, tied a block to her, drove to a bridge, threw her over and Verdejo shot at her as she went down.
Cell phone and location data have confirmed his whereabouts at the perceived time of murder. He is now charged with kidnapping resulting in death, carjacking resulting in death, and intentionally killing an unborn child. He is currently being held in jail without bond.
There has been a rise in gender based violence in Puerto Rico with a state of emergency declared in January. “Gender violence is a social evil, based on ignorance and attitudes that cannot have space or tolerance in the Puerto Rico that we aspire to,” Gov. Pedro Pierluisi said in a news release. “It is my duty and my commitment as governor to establish a STOP to gender violence and for these purposes I have declared a state of emergency.” This pretty much guarantees that any violence against women is going to be looked at much closer which makes Verdejo not a smart criminal. This is the worst possible time to commit such a crime. And what’s sad is that this is how this man chose to ruin a good career, all from something he caused himself.