By: Sean Crose
“Today, a federal grand jury returned an indictment charging Félix Verdejo-Sánchez and Luis Antonio Cádiz-Martínez for federal crimes arising from the murder of Keishla Rodríguez Ortiz,” the Justice Department announced on Thursday. “Félix Verdejo-Sánchez and Luis Antonio Cádiz-Martínez,” the official statement reads, “are facing one count of carjacking resulting in death, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 2119(3) and (2); one count of kidnapping resulting in death, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1201 (a)(1) and 2; and one count for killing an unborn child, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1841and 2, also known as the ‘Unborn Victims of Violence Act of 2004’ or ‘Laci and Conner’s Law’.”
The statement goes on to read read that: “In addition to these charges, Félix Verdejo-Sánchez is facing one count for using and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 924(c)(1)(A)(i).” Verdejo can now not only possibly face spending the remainder of his life in prison. He may be facing the death penalty for the following reasons:
- “Each defendant intentionally killed the victim (Keishla Rodríguez Ortiz).
- Each defendant committed the offense in an especially heinous, cruel, or depraved manner in that it involved serious physical abuse to the victim.
- Each defendant committed the offense after substantial planning and premeditation to cause the death of the victim.
- Félix Verdejo Sánchez procured the commission of the offense by payment, or promise of payment, of anything of pecuniary value.
- Luis Antonio Cádiz-Martínez committed the offense as consideration for the receipt, or in the expectation of the receipt, of anything of pecuniary value.”
W. Stephen Muldrew, the US Attorney whose office Thursday’s official statement came from, is quoted as saying that: “Keishla Rodríguez-Ortiz was taken from a family that loved her, and she and her child were denied the most fundamental right of life, and the joy of knowing what that life could have been…We hope that this process brings some measure of solace to Keishla’s family.”
Last Thursday, Ortiz went missing. Her family stated that she had planned on letting the married Verdejo know she was pregnant with his child. Ortiz’ body was found in a San Juan, Puerto Rico lagoon over the weekend. A cooperating witness then claimed that Verdejo (with the help of an accomplice) punched, drugged and weighted down Ortiz, then tossed her over a bridge into the water below. Ortiz reportedly shot at her afterwards with hand gun.
On Sunday, Verdejo turned himself into authorities.