Miami-Dade County

South Miami man who posted picture of dead wife on Facebook pleads not guilty

Derek Medina, the South Miami man accused of shooting his wife and then posting a confession and photo of her body on Facebook, pleaded not guilty Thursday in Miami-Dade Circuit Court.

Medina’s arraignment came three weeks after police say he shot and killed Jennifer Alfonso, 26, in the kitchen of their South Miami townhouse.

He made national headlines when he then posted a photo of Alfonso’s bloody body, bent backward, and wrote: “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.”

He claimed he was tired of Alfonso’s physical abuse.

Medina is charged, for now, with second-degree murder with a deadly weapon, child neglect and discharge of a deadly missile. Prosecutors are likely to seek a first-degree murder indictment when the Miami-Dade grand jury returns to session next month.

Medina, 31, appeared Thursday before Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Yvonne Colodny. She set a tentative trial date of Nov. 4, although the case is likely to be delayed as his defense team begins to review the evidence and schedules depositions of witnesses.

Alfonso’s parents and other relatives appeared in court Thursday, and left without talking to reporters.

Medina’s defense attorney, Saam Zangeneh, said his legal team had not settled on a strategy.

“We haven’t seen the evidence. How can we present a defense without having seen the evidence?” Zangeneh told reporters after the brief hearing.

According to court documents, Medina admitted to shooting Alfonso six to eight times after she punched and kicked him during a heated argument.

He might claim self-defense.

However, Medina admitted to police that he had earlier pointed his gun at her and then, when she grabbed a kitchen knife, disarmed her before shooting her.

Alfonso’s 10-year-old daughter from a previous relationship was upstairs and not physically harmed.

Related stories from Miami Herald