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Grand jury indicts Puerto Rico boxer in lover's death

Flowers, balloons and a poster with the Spanish word for "justice" is part of a growing makeshift memorial for Keishla Rodriguez whose lifeless body w...
Jose Antonio Rodriguez, center right, is embraced as he arrives at a wake for his 27-year-old-daughter Keishla Rodriguez, whose lifeless body was foun...
Jose Antonio Rodriguez, left, is embraced by a relative as he arrives at a wake for his 27-year-old-daughter Keishla Rodriguez, whose lifeless body wa...
A child leans against a stroller transporting a pet that belonged to Keishla Rodriguez, whose lifeless body was found in a lagoon Saturday, at a funer...

Flowers, balloons and a poster with the Spanish word for "justice" is part of a growing makeshift memorial for Keishla Rodriguez whose lifeless body w...

Jose Antonio Rodriguez, center right, is embraced as he arrives at a wake for his 27-year-old-daughter Keishla Rodriguez, whose lifeless body was foun...

Jose Antonio Rodriguez, left, is embraced by a relative as he arrives at a wake for his 27-year-old-daughter Keishla Rodriguez, whose lifeless body wa...

A child leans against a stroller transporting a pet that belonged to Keishla Rodriguez, whose lifeless body was found in a lagoon Saturday, at a funer...

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — A grand jury on Thursday indicted Puerto Rican boxer Félix Verdejo in the killing of his pregnant lover, a case potentially eligible for the death penalty.

The indictment was announced as dozens of people attended the wake of 27-year-old Keishla Rodríguez, who was reported missing on Thursday and whose body was identified on Sunday via dental records.

An FBI complaint, based on testimony from an unidentified witness, accused Verdejo of punching Rodríguez in the face, injecting her with a syringe filled with an unidentified substance bought at a public housing complex, binding her arms and feet with wire, tying a heavy block to her and then throwing her off a bridge at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday. Authorities said Verdejo then stood on the bridge and shot at her body.

“This is a case that has shocked Puerto Rico,” said Carmen Romero, who had traveled roughly an hour from the coastal town of Arecibo to pay her respects.

Verdejo turned himself into authorities on Sunday night and is being held without bail. He is accused of kidnapping and carjacking resulting in death and with intentionally killing an unborn child. Neither Vélez nor his attorneys have commented on the case.

Also charged in the case is Luis Antonio Cádiz. It was not immediately known if he had an attorney.

The autopsy report has been completed, but authorities said they won’t release details yet on exactly how Rodríguez died because the investigation is ongoing.

The victim’s father, José Antonio Rodríguez, told WAPA TV on Wednesday that he is not in favor of the death penalty.

“That doesn’t solve anything for me. What’s done is done,” he said. “Let him remember every day who my daughter was.”

Amid growing accusations that Puerto Rico’s government hasn’t done enough to protect women and victims of domestic violence, the island’s justice secretary announced Tuesday that prosecutors will now be required to appear in court for probable cause hearings where a judge rules whether an alleged abuser should be arrested.

The announcement comes amid anger over the case of another woman, Andrea Ruiz, who was recently found burned to death after she filed a domestic violence complaint that a judge dismissed. Gov. Pedro Pierluisi has said that the government failed Ruiz.


Updated : 2021-06-25 06:53 GMT+08:00