Olympic boxer Felix Verdejo-Sanchez found guilty of killing pregnant woman

A federal jury convicted the athlete on multiple charges.

July 29, 2023, 8:44 PM

A Puerto Rican boxer was found guilty of federal charges in connection with the 2021 murder of a pregnant woman, federal prosecutors said.

A federal jury convicted Félix Verdejo-Sánchez -- who competed in the 2012 Olympics -- on kidnapping resulting in death and intentionally killing an unborn child, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Puerto Rico announced on Friday.

Verdejo-Sánchez was accused of killing a woman who told him she was pregnant with his child, according to court documents. A co-defendant -- Luis Antonio Cádiz-Martínez -- was also accused of helping him commit a kidnapping that resulted in the death of the woman -- 27-year-old Keishla Rodríguez Ortiz -- and her unborn child, prosecutors said.

PHOTO: Félix Verdejo-Sánchez walks to the ring before a bout in Las Vegas on July 16, 2020.
Félix Verdejo-Sánchez walks to the ring before a bout in Las Vegas on July 16, 2020.
Mikey Williams/Top Rank via Getty Images

On April 29, 2021, Verdejo-Sánchez "executed a premeditated plan to murder" Rodríguez Ortiz and her unborn child by luring her into his Dodge Durango "where, with the assistance of Luis Cádiz-Martínez, Verdejo punched Ms. Rodríguez Ortiz, injected her with drugs and then tied her with metal wire to a cement block," prosecutors said in a statement.

"Mr. Verdejo Sánchez then drove the victim to the Teodoro Moscoso bridge, and, with Cadiz's assistance, threw Ms. Rodríguez Ortiz into the San José Lagoon," the statement continued. "He later jumped into the lagoon in order to finish murdering both victims."

Verdejo-Sánchez faces a mandatory life sentence for each conviction. His sentencing has been scheduled for Nov. 3.

"We stand firmly with the family of Keishla Rodríguez Ortiz and all those in the community who sought justice for this senseless, cruel and heinous act of premeditated and cold-blooded violence against Keishla and her unborn child," U.S. Attorney W. Stephen Muldrow said in a statement.

The FBI led the investigation with support from the Puerto Rico Department of Public Safety, the Puerto Rico Police Bureau and the Puerto Rico Department of Justice.

Cádiz-Martínez accepted a plea deal in the case in November 2022, court records show.