Felix Verdejo will spend the rest of his life in prison.

The disgraced former boxer was punished to the full extent of the law during a sentencing hearing Friday in a Puerto Rico federal court. Judge Pedro A. Delgado-Hernandez punished Verdejo for life on charges of Kidnapping Resulting in Death and Death of an Unborn child—from the April 2021 murder of Keishla Marlen Rodriguez.

“Your actions cost the lives of two people in a horrendous way,” judge Delgado said to Verdejo in his statement prior to issuing his sentence. “You destroyed a family. Their lives changed forever. There is no going back.”

Verdejo will serve the sentences concurrently. His legal team has 14 days to appeal the official ruling.

A jury of nine men and three women in a Puerto Rico federal court returned a guilty verdict on July 28 on two of the four charges Verdejo faced for the gruesome events which led to the execution-style murder of his former lover. Each charge separately carries a maximum term of 99 years in prison, since the death penalty was not on the table.

The jury was hung on the remaining two charges—Carjacking Resulting in Death and Discharging a Firearm in Relation to a Violent Crime. The carjacking charge also carried a maximum 99-year sentence; a life sentence would have accompanied the firearms charge since it would have accompanied at least one other guilty charge.

Friday’s sentencing hearing included testimony from Rodriguez’s family members who sought for the higher court to issue the maximum allowable sentence for Verdejo’s actions.

The final ruling brings closure to a horrifically tragic development spanning more than two-and-a-half years. Rodriguez was missing for three days in late April 2021 before found dead on May 1, 2021. Verdejo was initially questioned in her disappearance and then upgraded from person of interest to prime suspect, after which he surrendered to authorities on May 2, 2021.

It was learned shortly after Rodriguez’s disappearance that she had a years-long affair with Verdejo and was one month pregnant with his child.

Verdejo was charged along with co-defendant Luis Antonio Cadiz-Martinez, who separately pleaded guilty last November. He faces a maximum of 30 years in prison, though consideration for lesser time was due to his agreed cooperation in implicating Verdejo’s role in the gruesome murder of Rodriguez, who was drugged, abducted and shot as she was deposited into Laguna San Jose under the Teodoro Moscoso Bridge.

A non-guilty plea was entered by Verdejo on May 11, 2021, after which point he was jailed for the duration of the criminal case which lasted nearly 27 months. The case appeared before a jury earlier this summer and concluded earlier this week. The jury deliberated for more than three days before reaching its verdict on all four charges.

A lengthy delay in proceeding to trial was due to the change in dynamics of the case.

The government explored the possibility of pursuing a death penalty case before it was taken off the table on January 31. The shift meant a reshuffling of Verdejo’s legal team which was largely comprised of capital punishment experts at the time. Further delays came when it was learned that the former boxer—who represented Puerto Rico in the 2012 London Olympics—lacked the funds to secure proper representations for such a complex trial.

Verdejo (27-2, 17KOs) was already believed to have been financially strained in the early stages of the ongoing court case, having not boxed since December 2020. The former lightweight contender was knocked out in the ninth round by Japan’s Masayoshi Nakatani, having scored two early knockdowns before falling apart late in suffering the stoppage in their ESPN-televised bout from MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas.

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox