World champion Venezuelan boxer Edwin Valero was found dead in his jail cell by another inmate this morning.
28-year-old Valero was being held in connection with the murder of his wife Jennifer Viera in a hotel room in Valencia, Venezuela. Authorities in Venezuela say charges against Valero were pending in his 20-year-old wife’s death. In the weeks leading up to her death, police say Viera had been treated for injuries that were likely related to domestic violence. Viera was seen for bruises and a damaged lung in March, but corroborated her husband’s account that she had “stumbled” down a stairway:
Last month, Valero was charged with harassing his wife and threatening medical personnel who treated her at a hospital in the western city of Merida. Police arrested Valero following an argument with a doctor and nurse at the hospital, where his wife was being treated for a series of injuries, including a punctured lung and broken ribs.
The Attorney General’s Office said in a statement that Valero was detained March 25 on suspicion of assaulting his wife, but his wife told a police officer her injuries were due to a fall. When the boxer arrived moments later, he forbade Viera from speaking to the police officer, and spoke threateningly to the officer, prosecutors said in a statement.
Although Valero “showed signs of life” when he was found, responders were unable to save him. Police Chief Wilmer Flores says that Valero hanged himself by a jail cell bar with his clothing.