Father of pregnant woman ‘killed’ by Verdejo demands the boxer should be spared death penalty, left to rot in jail if found guilty
In a story that has shocked the boxing world and a proud island that produces some of its biggest stars, Verdejo turned himself in to authorities to face charges related to the discovery of the body of Keishla Rodriguez, who was allegedly pregnant with Verdejo's child.
According to the FBI, Verdejo assaulted Ms Rodriguez and injected her with an unidentified substance.
Additionally, a complaint from the US governing body states that Verdejo tied the woman's arms and feet with wire and affixed her to a heavy object before he threw her from a bridge early on Thursday morning.Also on rt.com Boxer Verdejo surrenders to police after authorities find body of ‘missing pregnant lover’
He also allegedly shot at the woman's body with a gun from the top of the bridge.
The crimes carry the death penalty if Verdejo, a former lightweight prospect who amassed a 27-2 record, is found guilty.
"I don't believe in that because, if you give the death penalty to a person who did what he did, you are helping him," said Jose Rodriguez, speaking to local television network TeleOnce.
"It is better to throw 100 years on him and for him to keep that burden of conscience on his mind every day.
"May he pay for it every day of his life and may he remember everything he did to my daughter.
En cupey Puerto Rico,han puesto este ataúd con un afiche,donde aparece una foto del ex boxeador profesional Felix Verdejo,acusado alegada y supuestamente de la muerte de una joven,con un embarazo en su vientre pic.twitter.com/pI3J9ecBzz— Radhames gutierrez (@radhames207) May 4, 2021
"Because if one takes his life, he does not suffer, he is not going to suffer. It is better to leave him [behind bars for] 100 years [so] that he cannot leave," Rodriguez went on.
"I don't want the death penalty for him. If they ask me, no, no."
Even if Rodriguez's father has his wish and Verdejo is spared death should he be found guilty, gangs in the Caribbean country, which is an official US territory, are said to be looking to bid him a gruesome farewell.
Local law enforcement have confirmed reports of death threats, while on social media a mock casket has been shown in the San Juan neighborhood of Cupey, with a photo of Verdejo and a message scrawled across it in Spanish.
"Felix Verdejo, you [are] screwed, you b*stard. Women are to be respected. Rest in peace," it read.Also on rt.com Boxer Verdejo surrenders to police after authorities find body of ‘missing pregnant lover’
Verdejo has been removed from Top Rank's website but is still under contract with the promotional company, as confirmed by its founder and CEO, Bob Arum.
"A man – no matter how bad it looks – is innocent until proven guilty," the 89-year-old said, as reported by TMZ Sports.
"And we will not release him from the contract and terminate our relationship with him unless or until he's convicted."
In an earlier interview with WAPA-TV, Arum remarked: "Anyone involved in this murder has obviously committed a heinous act."
You were right - in an interview with Puerto Rican media today, Bob Arum said Verdejo is "still under contract" with Top Rank and that they won't release him from the contract "until and unless he is convicted"... I guess that's the Harvard lawyer in him...— Brother Mouzone (@mouzonebrother) May 5, 2021
"That said, we are aware that Felix has been arrested and is in police custody…but we must remember that in the American legal system, a person is innocent until proven [guilty].
"So in that sense, even if he was released on bail, we won’t promote him in [another] fight… [but] we will not release him unless he is convicted and that is our official position.
"This is truly tragic. All of this is unimaginable. He was always well-mannered. If he was really involved in this tragedy, it is truly unfortunate."Also on rt.com Canelo challenger Saunders taunts boxing superstar over failed drugs test, tells reporter his breath smells ‘like sh*t’ (VIDEO)