Crime

South Miami Facebook killer goes to trial Monday

Derek Medina, 33, who shot and killed his wife in South Miami and posted a photo of the body on Facebook, appears in court earlier this year. He is claiming self-defense. His trial for murder is scheduled to start Monday, Nov. 2.
Derek Medina, 33, who shot and killed his wife in South Miami and posted a photo of the body on Facebook, appears in court earlier this year. He is claiming self-defense. His trial for murder is scheduled to start Monday, Nov. 2. Miami Herald

Derek Medina, the South Miami man who shot and killed his wife and posted a photo of her bloody body on Facebook, heads to trial on Monday.

Jury selection is set to begin Monday for Medina, 33, who claims he was acting in self-defense when he shot and killed unarmed Jennifer Alfonso, 27, in the kitchen of their townhouse in August 2013.

He has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and faces life in prison if convicted.

Medina’s Facebook post repulsed the public and some critics called the killing a symptom of a society obsessed with social-media-fueled fame.

“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 posted along with the photo.

Prosecutors have called the slaying “an execution,” saying Alfonso was shot and killed as she was on her knees inside their kitchen. Portions of the argument, but not the shooting itself, were captured on the home’s surveillance video system.

In an earlier court hearing, Miami-Dade prosecutors noted that after Medina got into an argument with Alfonso in the kitchen, he left, went upstairs and retrieved a pistol before returning to confront her. Medina told detectives that he disarmed her of a kitchen knife and returned it to a kitchen drawer before firing six to eight times.

Medina has never denied shooting Alfonso — he immediately turned himself in and admitted to the killing. But defense lawyers have portrayed him as a psychologically bruised victim, the husband of a “diva” who brooded about hurting him and called him “the woman” in their relationship.

He told Miami-Dade homicide detectives that Alfonso, that morning, “kept on punching me like crazy” near his temple or neck.

The trial is before Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Yvonne Colodny.

“We have been working vigorously with our team of attorneys and investigators for over two years. We are ready for trial,” said defense lawyer Saam Zangeneh. “But most importantly, we look forward to vindicating Derek Medina.”

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