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Edwin Valero, Venezuelan Boxing Champ, Commits Suicide in Jail After Allegedly Killing Wife

In this photo taken Sunday, April 18, 2010, Venezuela's former lightweight boxing champion Edwin Valero, left, is escorted by a police officer to a police station in Valencia, some 150 kms, some 93 miles, west of Caracas. Valero committed suicide in his jail cell on early Monday just hours after he was arrested in his wife's killing, police said. (AP Photo/Edsau Olivares /Notitarde) (AP Photo/Edsau Olivares /Notitarde)

Edwin Valero in Feb. 2010 (AP/Eduardo Verdugo)
CARACAS, Venezuela (CBS/AP) Former Venezuelan boxing champion, Edwin Valero, committed suicide in his jail cell Monday just hours after he was arrested for allegedly killing his wife.

The 28-year-old was detained Sunday and taken to a north-central Carabobo jail after police found the body of his 24-year-old wife in a hotel in Valencia.

The boxer left the hotel room around dawn Sunday and allegedly told security he had killed Jennifer Viera, Flores said.

Prosecutors said Sunday night that they had planned to charge Valero in the killing.

Edwin Valero. (AP)
Police found three stab wounds on Viera's body, but investigators who searched the hotel room had yet to find the weapon used in the killing, Flores said

After committing suicide, Valero was found by another inmate. He used his own clothes to hang himself, said Venezuelan Federal Police Chief Wilmer Flores.

The former lightweight champion still showed signs of life when officials found him,  but they were unable to save him and he died about 1:30 a.m., Flores said.

Valero had problems with the law in the past. Last month, he was charged with harassing his wife and threatening medical personnel who treated her at a hospital in the western city of Merida. He was arrested after 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.

The Attorney General's Office said a prosecutor had asked a court to order Valero jailed but judge placed him under a restraining order, forbidding him to go near his wife. He repeatedly violated the order. .

The former WBA super featherweight and WBC lightweight champion was well known in Venezuela. He had a tattoo of President Hugo Chavez, along with the country's yellow, blue and red flag.

His 27-0 record all by knockouts earned him the nickname "Inca" among Venezuelans, alluding to an Indian warrior, and the name "Dinamita," or dynamite by other fans.

  • Kealan Oliver

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