Puerto Rican fighter Felix Verdejo in the fight against Bryan Vásquez of Costa Rica at Madison Square Garden in New York in August 2019.
Photo: Sarah Stier / Getty Images
By Alex Figueroa Cancel
PUERTO RICO – Boxer Félix Verdejo claimed that he has no the funds necessary to pay for a defense with their money appropriate to the federal indictment against him for the murder of Keishla Rodríguez Ortiz.
This is clear from an order issued this Friday by Judge Pedro Delgado, who indicated that he reviewed the affidavit submitted by the professional boxer, who answered – subject to perjury – the questions about his ability to pay in the application for federal legal assistance. .
“Based on that information, it appears that financially he is not able to afford adequate representation,” the judge said.
Federal Prosecutor’s Office in Puerto Rico must answer Verdejo’s allegation
Before making a final determination, Delgado ordered that the federal prosecutor’s office have until May 21 to present any objection to Verdejo’s eligibility to receive legal assistance paid for with federal funds.
The judge recalled that in Verdejo’s initial hearing, prosecutor Jonathan Gottfried reported that the Public Ministry “reserved the right to challenge the defendant’s eligibility” to receive public legal assistance “due to his financial circumstances.”
At the time, Gottfried said that at the time they could present evidence of Verdejo’s financial capacity to pay for his defense.
Three lawyers handle Verdejo’s case for the murder of Keishla Rodríguez
Verdejo’s defense team is made up of attorney Laura Maldonado and death penalty expert David Ruhnke, as well as attorney José Irizarry Pérez, who was hired by the defendant’s mother.
However, the judge advised the three attorneys that, “as court officials” they have an “obligation to inform the court of their client’s ability to pay if, at any time after their appointment, they receive information about their ability to pay, in whole or in part, legal and other services in connection with their representation, unless the lawyer’s source of information is protected as privileged communication ”.
Verdejo, along with Luis Cádiz Martínez, faces charges of carjacking and kidnapping that resulted in the death of one person, as well as the death of an unborn baby, since Rodríguez Ortiz was pregnant. Verdejo faces a fourth count of violation of the gun law.
On charges issued by a federal grand jury, Verdejo and Cádiz Martínez face the death penalty or life imprisonment.