Crime

Miami’s ‘Facebook Killer’ claimed he was a battered spouse. It won’t get him a new trial

The “Facebook killer” won’t be getting a new trial.

A Miami appeals court on Wednesday upheld the murder conviction and life sentence of Derek Medina, the husband who shot and killed his wife in 2013, then posted a photo of her bloodied corpse on Facebook.

Medina murdered Jennifer Alfonso, 26, after a bitter argument in the kitchen of their South Miami town home. The photo he posted showed Alfonso, a Denny’s waitress, wearing all black and pink socks, on her knees, twisted backward in a bloody heap. The images stayed online for hours before the site took them down.

“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 wrote on his post.

At his 2015 trial, his lawyers argued self-defense, saying Alfonso had a kitchen knife in her hand, even though Medina himself told police he had disarmed her of the blade — which she pulled only when he approached wielding his .38-caliber pistol. He also told police that he fired only after Alfonso “kept on punching me like crazy” near his temple or neck.

Defense lawyers cast Medina as a spouse battered by an abusive wife who called him the “woman” in their tumultuous relationship.

After his conviction, his legal team argued that Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Yvonne Colodny erred when she refused to allow the testimony of a defense expert on “battered spouse syndrome.” But the Third District Court of Appeals ruled that the judge was right — that there was no evidence “that he suffered any cycle of battering.” Medina chose not to take the stand to testify in his own defense, when he could have made the allegations of spousal abuse.

The court also ruled that the judge was right to exclude testimony about so-called “bath salt” synthetic drugs found by a defense investigator in the home. Medina’s lawyers claimed that Alfonso became aggressive after taking the pills, even though there was no medical evidence to suggest she did.

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