Alleged Facebook killer Derek Medina has brief court appearance

 

ebenn@MiamiHerald.com

Derek Medina, the South Miami man who allegedly posted to Facebook a grisly photo of his dead wife after shooting her Aug. 8, had a brief hearing Friday in Miami-Dade County Criminal Court.

Medina, 31, sat in silence in a red jail jumpsuit with shackles around his wrists and ankles.

His attorneys -- Saam Zangeneh, Mauricio Padilla and Rick Yabor -- told Circuit Judge Yvonne Colodny that they would be taking over Medina's defense from the Public Defender's Office. The judge approved their request for preservation of evidence in the case.

"It allows us to preserve all physical evidence on behalf of Mr. Medina," Zangeneh said after the hearing, declining to elaborate because of how new the case is. "This is a domestic homicide that happened eight days ago."

Medina turned himself in to police after the shooting death of his wife, Jennifer Alfonso, 26. Police found her body in the couple's South Miami home.

Hours earlier on Aug. 8, police said, Medina posted a gruesome photo of Alfonso's bloody, contorted body on his Facebook page, with a comment:

"I'm going to prison or death sentence for killing my wife. Love you guys. Miss you guys. Take care. Facebook people you'll see me in the news."

Medina is scheduled to be back in court on Aug. 29 for an arraignment.

It's likely Medina will claim self-defense. Part of his attorneys' request Friday was to allow them to photograph Medina in jail, presumably for bruises, cuts or other signs of abuse.

His father, Derek Ian Medina, said his son killed Alfonso only after she brandished a knife. The younger Medina also posted on Facebook on Aug. 8 that Alfonso "was punching me and I'm not going to stand anymore with the abuse so I did what I did."

According to an arrest report, Medina told investigators he got into an argument with Alfonso. The report said he went upstairs, fished his pistol from a closet and pointed it at her.

Alfonso yelled she was “leaving him,” according to the report by Detective Jonathan Grossman. Then, Medina — still brandishing the weapon — followed her downstairs to the kitchen, where she grabbed a knife.

Medina said he disarmed Alfonso, put the knife in the drawer, then shot her several times after she began punching and kicking him, the report said.

El Nuevo Herald staff writer Melissa Sanchez contributed to this report.

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