Felix Verdejo Preliminary Hearing Set For May 11
The Federal Magistrate in Puerto Rico overseeing the case of accused kidnapper and murderer Felix Verdejo has set the date for his preliminary hearing on the charges. And, it will be happening by the middle of next week.
From El Vocero Newspaper in Puerto Rico on Tuesday night, Magistrate Camille Vélez Rive entered Tuesday morning May 11th in the electronic system for court for the 27 year old Lightweight contender to have evidence and testimony heard against him. Verdejo is currently being held in a federal detention center with out bond on the charges of carjacking, kidnapping and murder in the death last week of his girlfriend, 27 year old Keishla Rodriguez Ortiz.
After a missing person’s report from her family last Thursday and two days of frantic searching, Rodriguez Ortiz’s body was found in a lagoon near Carolina, Puerto Rico on Saturday.
After refusing to cooperate in interviews about his involvement or knowledge of the whereabouts of Rodriguez with law enforcement late last week, Verdejo turned himself to the the FBI on Sunday night to face the initial charges.
As the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s office in Puerto Rico laid out in their court fling Sunday night, the allegations against Verdejo’s are horrific. They allege that after learning that Rodriguez was pregnant that Verdejo came up with a plan with an accomplice to kidnap and kill Rodriguez Ortiz and dispose of the body.
From the filing,
According to the statements of the witness, “who had first-hand knowledge” about the events that occurred, on April 27 Verdejo contacted him and asked him to help him terminate the pregnancy of the victim (Rodríguez Ortiz), who told him the boxer who was pregnant with him.
On April 29, Verdejo contacted the victim and arranged to meet her at her residence. The boxer and the witness went aboard the black Dodge Durango vehicle owned by the fighter. The victim arrived at the agreed place in his vehicle, a gray Kia Forte, and there he got on Verdejo’s bus.
According to the statement, after they spoke, Verdejo punched the young woman in the face and injected a substance with a syringe, which was acquired at a drug store in the Luis Llorens Torres residential area. The boxer and the witness are alleged to have tied his feet and arms with wire. Then they tied a block to him. The witness took the keys to the Kia vehicle and boarded it.
Verdejo and the witness traveled in both vehicles to the Teodoro Moscoso bridge, which crosses the San José lagoon between Carolina and Hato Rey. The victim was then removed from the bus and she was thrown into the water, where the body was found on Saturday. Immediately afterwards, Verdejo shot him from the bridge. Subsequently, the victim’s vehicle was abandoned.
Rodriguez Ortiz’s family, which had been pleading Thursday and Friday with Verdejo and the public to help with the search for Keishla, came to the scene on the water Saturday with authorities. That was, after there was confirmation that it was a blond female matching her general description found in the lagoon in San Jose.
San Juan investigators went to Verdejo’s home Saturday night and impounded his Dodge Durango SUV for further analysis and investigation into Rodriguez Ortiz’s death. The bridge video reportedly shows the Durango SUV on the bridge, leave and then, come back twice over a 30 minute period on Thursday morning.
El Vocero further reported authorities have found a shell casing of a bullet on the bridge and allegedly found blood potentially from the victim on the bridge that was processed, as well.
The FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s office based in San Juan are involved because of the high-profile nature of the case and the serous charges of kidnapping and murder that Verdejo is facing.
We should find out next week, if prosecutors intend to seek the death penalty, if Verdejo is convicted of the most serious crimes.
El Vocero also reported that the U.S. Attorney and the San Juan prosecutors may be using a grand jury to hear the evidence against Verdejo. And, the grand jury may go ahead and indict him on the charges before the preliminary hearing in open court is held. Also, Verdejo will be given another opportunity to appear in court to face the charges and he will likely ask for bail to be granted.
However, it is unlikely that he will receive bail due to the horrific circumstances in the case.
The rising star and popular contender Verdejo is 27-2 as a pro, and was last in the ring this past December on a Top Rank Las Vegas show. That night he lost to Masayoshi Nakatani in the ninth round on the undercard of the Shakur Stevenson-Toka Kahn Clary main event.
It was a wild fight, where Nakatani upset Verdejo handing him a tough second pro loss.
Top Rank released this statement via social media Saturday night and has removed Verdejo completely from their website,
Official statement from Top Rank ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/wgxpv7VoI5
— Top Rank Boxing (@trboxing) May 2, 2021
However, the promotion has yet to make any formal decision about whether they have terminated their agreement with Verdejo? They are obviously waiting for more of the events to unfold in the case against the fighter and will likely make that decision soon.
That’s, because Verdejo’s boxing career is a distant priority at this point.