Former Olympic boxer Félix Verdejo Sánchez has been convicted of the kidnapping and murder of his pregnant girlfriend, Keishla Rodríguez Ortiz, nearly two years after her body was discovered in a lagoon. After a month-long trial, a jury consisting of three men and nine women reached a verdict on Friday. Verdejo, who represented Puerto Rico in the 2012 Olympic Games in London, faced charges including kidnapping resulting in death, carjacking resulting in death, intentionally killing an unborn child, and possession of a weapon during a violent crime.
While the jury could not reach a verdict on two of the charges, Verdejo was found guilty of kidnapping resulting in death and causing the death of an unborn child.
The sentencing is scheduled for November 3rd. Verdejo’s lawyer declined to comment on the verdict. Following the announcement, Rodríguez’s father, José Antonio Rodríguez, expressed his feelings, stating, “May he live the rest of his life thinking about everything he did to my daughter.” He further emphasized that “the truth always prevails” in a conversation with local newspaper El Nuevo Día.
Keishla Rodríguez Ortiz’s tragic death sparked widespread protests across Puerto Rico, shedding light on the treatment of women and prompting Governor Pedro Pierluisi to declare a state of emergency in regards to gender violence. In a news release, Governor Pierluisi highlighted the need to address the root issues that lead to violent crimes such as this one. He emphasized that gender violence is a social evil that should not be tolerated in Puerto Rico.
The conviction of Félix Verdejo Sánchez for the kidnapping and murder of his pregnant girlfriend has aimed to bring justice to Keishla Rodríguez Ortiz and her family.