Capital punishment is no longer on the table in the ongoing criminal case involving Felix Verdejo.  

A months-long discussion over whether to pursue the death penalty for the multiple charges against the disgraced lightweight boxer and alleged accomplice Luis Antonio Cadiz-Martinez was settled on Monday. The U.S. Attorney’s office has decided to no longer no proceed in that direction after introducing the option in the weeks following Verdejo’s arrest on allegations of carjacking resulting in death, kidnapping resulting in death and killing of an unborn child in the abduction and murder of Keishla Marlen Rodriguez, with whom he had a years-long love affair.

“The United States of American hereby notifies the Court that it will not seek the death penalty in this case against Félix Verdejo-Sánchez and Luis Antonio Cádiz-Martínez,” W. Stephen Muldrow, lead counsel for the U.S. Attorney for notified the U.S. District Court of Puerto Rico in an official letter, a copy of which was obtained by

Felix Verdejo will remain in federal prison in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico until at least his next court date of March 18. Despite the absence of capital punishment, the San Juan-based boxer still faces up to 99 years in prison on the aforementioned charges if found guilty. Verdejo also faces one charge of discharging a firearm during and in relation to a violent crime. The offense carries a maximum sentence of life in prison, though only in conjunction with a guilty verdict returned in any of the aforementioned charges.

Verdejo has remained in prison since May 2, when he surrendered to authorities following a three-day search for Rodriguez who was first reported missing by family members on April 29. A rescue mission was changed to a recovery mission once preliminary evidence suggested she was no longer alive. Those fears were realized on May 1, when she was pulled from Laguna San Jose in Carolina, Puerto Rico.

A detailed investigation report—aided by what reports indicate as a cooperating witness with first-hand knowledge of the case—revealed that Verdejo and Cádiz-Martinez both intentionally killed Rodriguez and “committed the offense in an especially heinous, cruel, or depraved manner in that it involved serious physical abuse to the victim.”

A shrine remains in place along the bridge in memory of Rodriguez.

Three separate status conference hearings have been held, the most recent taking place last December 17. All three sessions concluded with the request for more time to review evidence, with the court ruling that awaiting the death penalty certification by the Attorney General outweighs the defendants' and the community's interest in a speedy trial.

With the case no longer proceeding under the assumption of capital punishment, the next status conference should result in an official court date to begin trial.

Verdejo (27-2, 17KOs) has not fought since a ninth-round knockout loss to Japan’s Masayoshi Nakatani (19-1-1, 13KOs) last December 12 at MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas. A win would have placed the 28-year-old Puerto Rican boxer on a path to next face lineal lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez (16-0, 12KOs). He was well on his way to victory, twice flooring Nakatani before suffering two knockdowns in the fateful ninth round of their 2020 Fight of the Year entrant.

Verdejo signed with Top Rank following a standout amateur career capped by his appearance in the 2012 London Olympics. The Las Vegas-based company has yet to drop Verdejo from its roster, although his name no longer appears in any company promotional material.

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for Twitter: @JakeNDaBox