Puerto Rican ex-boxer Félix Verdejo has been sentenced to two life sentences for the 2021 murder of his girlfriend, 27-year-old Keishla Rodríguez Ortiz, and their unborn child. He was found guilty this past July and received his sentencing on Friday (November 3).
Verdejo and his accomplice, Luis Antonio Cádiz-Martínez, murdered Rodriguez Ortiz and her unborn baby after luring her into Verdejo’s vehicle, drugging her, and then throwing her off a bridge into the San José Lagoon in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Cádiz-Martínez, who is still awaiting sentencing, testified that Verdejo tried to get Rodriguez Ortiz to get an abortion.
“Today’s life sentence rightly holds Verdejo-Sánchez responsible for the pain and suffering he inflicted on his victims,” W. Stephen Muldrow, U.S. Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico, said in a statement. “To this day, the defendant maintains his unrepentant attitude. Like Verdejo-Sánchez now knows, anyone who commits cold-blooded crimes of violence in violation of federal law will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law by the Justice Department and this office.”
Rodríguez’s mother, Keila Ortiz Rivera, told El Nuevo Día that Verdejo, who was married, allegedly “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.”
In a news release from Muldrow’s office, it was revealed that after throwing Rodriguez Ortiz off the bridge, “[Verdejo] later jumped into the lagoon in order to finish murdering both victims.”
Verdejo’s attorney said Friday that he plans to appeal the sentence. Outside the courtroom, Ortiz Rivera also yelled at some of Verdejo supporters who were holding signs that read, “Free Félix.”