That’s what Medina was doing on June 23, when Miami Heat guard Ray Allen and a few pals were finishing up at the Coral Gables Denny’s shortly after sunrise. Medina, dressed in a suit for his job at a Coral Gables condominium complex, shook the athlete’s hand and posted a wobbly, 14-second video of the encounter on his YouTube page.
“I was standing next to Jennifer when she did the video,” Schwartz said. “Derek loves Ray Allen. That was a real treat for him.”
In the video, Medina is hamming it up with Allen by the restaurant’s cash register — where a framed memorial photo of Alfonso now hangs.
Medina graduated from Coral Gables High in 2001, and Alfonso went to South Dade High until Isabella was born, said her mom. The teenage mom then transferred to COPE Center, a school and daycare for young mothers, but left when she was unhappy with the care Isabella was receiving, Carolyn Knox said. Alfonso earned her GED last year.
They married in January 2010 after a brief, intense courtship. The marriage was stormy at first, with Medina sometimes kicking out Alfonso. Other times, she showed up to work with bruises, said her former boss, Amada Cooper.
They divorced in February 2012, then remarried three months later.
Medina was the one who filed for divorce. Although the case file is thin and cites only irreconcilable differences, a judge awarded Medina the couple’s major assets: a 2006 Hummer, a 1972 AMC Javelin muscle car, and a piece of property Medina owns in Tampa. The paperwork was served to Alfonso at work at Denny’s on Bird Road.
Medina bought their two-bedroom South Miami townhouse, at 5555 SW 67th Ave. in the Miller 67 complex, for $107,000 in March 2012, during their short divorce.
In a strange coincidence, Alfonso’s maternal grandmother was shot to death in a 1986 murder-suicide in a 67th Avenue apartment less than two miles from where Medina and Alfonso lived. Manuel Alvarez drove from Texas to Miami to shoot ex-wife Mercedes Alvarez in the chest before turning the gun on himself. Alfonso was born 10 months after her grandmother’s slaying.
Medina and Alfonso shared an interest in ghosts and the supernatural, which took them on ghost-seeking trips to Louisiana, among other places.
“I knew this guy got Jenny into ghost-hunting and UFO-searching and stuff like that,” said her brother, David Alfonso, 27. “The guy is eccentric, and I just wish he would have shot himself after murdering my sister.”
Ghost stories are one of many topics Medina touched on in a series of e-books he wrote in recent months. With long-winded titles like How a Judgmental and Selfish Attitude is Destroying the World We Live in Because the World is Vanishing Beneath Our Eyes, the self-published self-help books were promoted on Medina’s website, emotionalwriter.com.
But his books, like the rest of Medina’s online persona, were largely ignored.
Few people, if any, appeared to pony up $9.99 for the downloads. How a Judgmental and Selfish Attitude… is ranked 1,160,157th in sales on barnesandnoble.com. His titles had no reader reviews, until prank ones began showing up after Aug. 8.
It’s a similar story on Medina’s Facebook account, which the social network site has deleted, where he was a heavy poster but had only 164 friends. A Pew Center study this year found that the average Facebook user has 245 friends; highly active users often have many more.