Boxing

Boxer faces death penalty after being charged with killing mother of his child

Former world champion Felix Verdejo could face the death penalty after being charged with kidnapping the mother of his unborn child and injecting her with a syringe before tying her to a heavy block and throwing her off a bridge.

Verdejo is also accused of shooting at the body of 27-year-old Keishla Rodriguez after it failed to sink.

Rodriguez's body was found in a lagoon in San Juan, the capital of Puerto Rico on Saturday, two days after she went missing and was identified using her dental records.

According to the FBI, a witness “with firsthand, personal knowledge” of what took place came forward and alleges Verdejo met the victim on Thursday evening in his black SUV before punching her in the face and injecting her with an unknown substance.

In a complaint filed by the FBI, he is then alleged to have tied her hands and feet with wire before tying her to a block and driving to the Teodoro Moscoso Bridge where he allegedly threw her into the lagoon.

The charges carry the death penalty but no decision has been made as to whether to purse the maximum punishment.

Verdejo, who is married, handed himself into police on Sunday night having previously refused to cooperate with the investigation.

Rodriguez's family raised the alarm after she failed to show up for her job at an animal grooming business.

She is believed to have gone to school with Verdejo and kept in touch with the fighter who is alleged to have told her not to have his baby.

"I told her, 'Be careful,' because he had already threatened her," the victim's mother said.

Verdejo, also 27, turned professional in 2012 after representing his country at the London Olympics.

He had been due to challenge British world champion Terry Flanagan in 2017 but the Manchester fighter was forced to pull out injured.

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