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Felix Verdejo will not face death penalty if convicted of murdering pregnant girlfriend

The former top lightweight is accused of murdering Keishla Rodriguez and her unborn child.

Felix Verdejo after his fight with Will Madera in 2020;
Felix Verdejo after his fight with Will Madera in 2020;
Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank via Getty Images

[CW: The following story includes disturbing details of a murder currently under investigation]

Felix Verdejo, a former WBO Inter-Continental lightweight title challenger, was arrested last May and charged with the murder of Keishla Rodriguez. Authorities claim that Verdejo murdered Rodriguez, whom he was having an extra-martial affair with, after she told him she was pregnant.

Verdejo has been incarcerated at a U.S. federal prison in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico since his arrest. Boxing Scene reports that the U.S Attorney’s Office has decided, after months of deliberation, to not seek the death penalty in this case. Verdejo’s alleged accomplice, Luis Antonio Cadiz-Martinez, will also be spared a possible capital sentence.

Verdejo now faces a possible 99-year prison sentence if found guilty of kidnapping, carjacking, murder and the killing of an unborn child.

Cadiz-Martinez reportedly told police that he aided Verdejo in the killing of Rodriguez . He told investigators that he was in an SUV with Verdejo and Rodriguez on April 29, 2021 and that Verdejo attacked Rodriguez inside the car and injected her with narcotics. Ortiz said he and Verdejo then bound Rodriguez ’s arms and legs and attached her to a cement block.

Cadiz-Martinez said he and Verdejo then threw Rodriguez off the Teodoro Moscoso Bridge outside of San Juan. Cadiz-Martinez said Verdejo fired at Rodriguez with a pistol as she sank into the lagoon. Rodriguez’s body was discovered in the lagoon a few days later.

Authorities claim that surveillance footage from the bridge corroborates parts of Cadiz-Martinez’s witness testimony.

Prior to be arrested Verdejo was signed with Top Rank. He held a 27-2 pro record and is a former WBO Latino lightweight champion. Before turning pro he represented Puerto Rico at the 2012 Olympic Games.

Support for survivors of domestic violence can be found from the following organizations:

USA - The National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)

Canada - DAWN-RAFH Canada

UK and Ireland - Women’s Aid: 0808-2000-247

Rest of the World - HotPeachPages