Keishla’s tragic death ends in guilty verdict for ex-Olympic boxer

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Former Olympic boxer Félix Verdejo has been found guilty of murdering pregnant girlfriend Keishla Rodríguez. Washington Post
Former Olympic boxer Félix Verdejo has been found guilty of murdering pregnant girlfriend Keishla Rodríguez. Washington Post

Former Olympic boxer Félix Verdejo Sánchez has been convicted of murdering his pregnant girlfriend, Keishla Rodríguez. 

The 27-year-old professional boxer faced a jury trial lasting nearly a month in the US District Court of Puerto Rico. 

Rodríguez, 27, disappeared on April 29, 2021, after planning to meet Verdejo to share news of her pregnancy. Her family reported her missing, and two days later, her lifeless body was discovered in a lagoon in San Juan. An autopsy revealed that she died from drowning after being injected with drugs.

The jury, comprising three women and nine men, found Verdejo guilty of kidnapping resulting in death and causing the death of an unborn child. However, they could not reach unanimous verdicts on charges related to carjacking and possession of a weapon during a violent crime.

Throughout the trial, the defense presented nine witnesses, attempting to portray Verdejo as a nonviolent and respectable person. Nevertheless, the evidence against him proved overwhelming, and the jury’s verdict was reached after three days of deliberation.

Verdejo’s sentencing is scheduled for November 3, and he could face life imprisonment for the felonies he was found guilty of committing. His conviction has brought some closure to Keishla Rodríguez’s grieving family, who expressed that they hope he lives with the weight of his actions for the rest of his life.

This tragic incident sparked protests in Puerto Rico, shedding light on the pressing issue of violence against women on the island. In 2021 alone, 53 women and girls lost their lives due to gender-based violence. The verdict serves as a reminder of the urgent need to address this serious problem.

Keishla Rodríguez, who loved animals and worked at a pet grooming business, will be remembered by her family and community, while her murderer, a one-time Olympic hopeful, awaits his fate.

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