Former professional boxer Felix Verdejo was sentenced to consecutive life terms in Puerto Rico Friday for the murder of his 27-year-old pregnant girlfriend, the Associated Press reported.
Verdejo, who was found guilty by a jury of his peers in July and was sentenced Friday, according to AP. At the July trial, a federal judge had heard emotional speeches by relatives of Keishla Rodriguez, who was killed in April 2021.
When the July verdict was announced, the victim’s parents – Jose Antonio Rodriguez and Keila Ortiz – felt justice was done, The Daily Mail reported. (RELATED: Boxer Felix Verdejo Charged With The Death Of A Woman And Her Unborn Child)
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“I have always said that he will live the rest of his life thinking about what he did to my daughter, and that is his worst condemnation,” Mr. Rodriguez said. “I do not wish him death, I wish him good health and that he can last as long as he can last… if he wants to last 200 years, let him last, but always remember what he did to my daughter.”
Many across Puerto Rico celebrated Friday’s sentencing, AP reported.
“This sentence should serve as a lesson for others,” Puerto Rico Police Commissioner Antonio López said. “It doesn’t matter how much fame, money or power you think you have. If you break the law, you will have to respond.”
During the July trial, Verdejo’s friend, Luis Antonio Cadiz, said that the boxer pressured Rodriguez to get an abortion, AP reported. Cadiz, who was also charged in the case, testified that Verdejo had punched Rodriguez and injected her with a toxic substance before tying her arms and legs to a cement block and throwing her off the Teodoro Moscoso Bridge into the San Jose Lagoon, according to the outlet.
After Rodriguez’s body was found, an autopsy revealed she had fentanyl and xylazine, a sedative used for horses, in her system, AP reported.
Verdejo boxed in the 2012 Olympics and became a professional that year, finishing his lightweight division career with a 27-2 record, according to AP.
Verdejo’s lawyer said Friday that he will appeal the sentencing, AP reported.