Jurors on Friday heard for themselves exactly why Derek Medina, after shooting his unarmed wife eight times during an argument in their South Miami kitchen, uploaded a photo of her contorted, bloodied body on Facebook.
“So the family would know and be notified,” Medina said in a video-recorded statement played for the jury.
Medina’s account of the killing of Jennifer Alfonso highlighted the third day of testimony in the high-profile murder trial. The 33-year-old condo security supervisor made national news in August 2013 when he shot and killed Alfonso, posting the image to her Facebook page and his own before surrendering to police.
He faces up to life in prison. His defense team insists Medina suffered from “battered spouse syndrome” and that he killed his wife in self-defense after years of abuse.
Friday’s testimony had been mostly technical — a blood-spatter expert, a crime-scene detective and a police firearms examiner all described the physical evidence found inside the home.
The emotional punch came Friday afternoon. Miami-Dade Detective Jonathan Grossman took to the stand to recount Medina’s version of what happened that morning.
Medina calmly insisted that his wife of four years was a drug abuser who was temperamental and, at times, suicidal. That morning, Alfonso picked an argument with him because he didn’t wake her up the previous night to watch a movie, he claimed. She began hurling boxes, mascara and towels at him, Medina told Grossman.
“How many deaths by towels have you investigated,” prosecutor J. Scott Dunn asked the detective.
“None,” Grossman replied.
For prosecutors, the question of the severity of any threat is key — they are trying to prove that Alfonso never posed a serious threat to her much bigger husband.
Medina brandished his gun briefly at Alfonso before she went downstairs to make breakfast. He put the gun away, followed her down and the argument continued.
He then walked upstairs, fetched the gun and returned to the kitchen. Alfonso grabbed a kitchen knife. He told Grossman that he disarmed her of the knife, putting it back in a drawer.
But Medina nevertheless shot her because she continued “punching like crazy.” “Like really attacking me,” Medina told Grossman. “I felt like she was just trying to take me out.”
Medina insisted he feared for his life. “She was repeatedly punching me, trying to get my temple and neck. I was in fear for my neck, my throat, and the temple on my left side.”
But Medina also admitted, quite proudly, that he was an amateur boxer — a detail mentioned by prosecutors looking to show he did not have to use a firearm to defend himself.
“25-0,” Medina told the detective on the video.
“That means you’ve never lost a fight,” Grossman asked.
“Correct,” he said.
The trial continues Monday before Circuit Judge Yvonne Colodny.