San Juan- On Monday, a federal judge ordered the release of Puerto Rican boxer Félix Verdejo on bail on charges that his pregnant lover was found dead in the lagoon and was released on bail after his death.
Verdejo was charged with kidnapping and carjacking, leading to the death of 27-year-old Keishla Rodríguez and intentionally killing an unborn baby. The defendant did not comment in the virtual hearing with translation.
Judge Camille Velez said: “This is a case that is eligible for the death penalty.”
A criminal lawsuit filed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) accused Verdejo of hitting Rodríguez in the face and injecting her with a syringe filled with an unknown substance purchased from a public housing complex. The prosecutor accused him of tying her arms and feet with iron wires, tying a heavy brick wall to her, and then throwing her off the bridge at 8:30 am on Thursday, and then shot her.
The complaint states that an unnamed witness helped Verdejo kidnap and kill her.
The US government has 30 days to submit the case to a federal grand jury. The date of Verdejo’s next hearing has not yet been announced.
Rodríguez was found in a lagoon near the capital San Juan on Thursday, and reportedly went missing on Thursday because she failed to work with an animal groomer. The authorities determined her Sunday from her dental records.
Verdejo and his lawyer declined to comment, and the police said the boxer initially refused to answer questions.
Rodríguez’s family said she was pregnant with Verdejo and the boxer did not want to have children.
The victim’s mother, Keila Ortiz, told reporters that her daughter called her on Thursday and told her that Wildho was going home to see the results of the pregnancy test.
“”I told him, “Be careful.” Ortiz said, because he had threatened her not to get pregnant (baby). He added that Verdejo told his daughter not to have a baby and mentioned his career and family.
Rodriguez’s parents said that Verdejo is married and has a young daughter, but he has known Rodriguez since high school and has a romantic relationship with her.
Verdejo (27-2, 17 knockouts) represented Puerto Rico at the 2012 Olympics. In the same year, he switched to professional work in the lightweight sector. After he was taken to the hospital in a motorcycle accident in 2016, his career was temporarily affected.
The case angered many people in Puerto Rico. A woman in Puerto Rico was recently burned alive after filing a domestic violence complaint rejected by a judge. The judge of the High Court has announced an investigation into the decision.
On Sunday, hundreds of people gathered near the place where Rodriguez’s body was found, demanding justice for her and other murdered women.
On Monday, another protest was organized. People gathered near the governor’s residence and demanded that the authorities do better in protecting victims of domestic violence.
Governor Pedro Pierluisi said at a press conference that his government is addressing what he described as sexism and discriminatory violence.