Crime

Jurors see video footage in Facebook killing trial

Framegrab from a 2012 or earlier video of the murder victim Jennifer Alfonso and defendant Derek Medina making contact in a home surveillance video that was shown during day five of Medina’s murder trial on Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015. Medina killed his wife and then posted a photo of her body to Facebook. He claims self defense.
Framegrab from a 2012 or earlier video of the murder victim Jennifer Alfonso and defendant Derek Medina making contact in a home surveillance video that was shown during day five of Medina’s murder trial on Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015. Medina killed his wife and then posted a photo of her body to Facebook. He claims self defense.

Tuesday was video day in the murder trial of the South Miami man who shot and killed his wife, then notoriously posted a photo of her bloody body on Facebook.

Jurors in the Derek Medina trial viewed surveillance footage that partially captured Medina arguing with wife, Jennifer Alfonso, in the kitchen of their townhouse in August 2013, then leaving upstairs to fetch his .380-caliber pistol.

The footage, taken from an internal video system in their townhome, showed Medina return, gun in hand. Just off camera, the fight continued as Medina claimed he disarmed his wife of a kitchen knife before she kept “punching him like crazy.”

The footage did not capture the shooting – but gunpowder particles swirled in front of the camera while Medina pumped eight rounds into Alfonso.

For prosecutors, the footage is key because it corroborates that Medina left only to re-engage his wife while armed. On cross examination, defense lawyer Saam Zangeneh pointed out Alfonso is seen taking something out of a cabinet — a foreshadowing, perhaps, that Medina will argue she took “bath salt” drugs that led her to threaten his life.

Medina, 33, a condo front-desk security supervisor, is charged with first-degree murder. He is claiming self-defense and “battered spouse syndrome.”

Prosecutors have described Medina as a boxer who did not have to resort to lethal violence in killing his much-smaller wife.

A Miami-Dade detective also played video Medina uploaded to YouTube of himself boxing in a ring, ducking, weaving and swiftly jabbing at an instructor’s hand pads. During cross examination, Zangeneh suggested the session was nothing more than a tourist whim – the ring was adorned with the logo of Royal Caribbean.

“That looks shockingly like a gym on a cruise ship,” Zangeneh said.

Jurors were also shown a surveillance snippet from the year before Alfonso’s killing that showed her huffily pushing past him while walking through an open sliding glass door in their home. He appeared to briefly pin her to the frame before she squeezed past.

Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Yvonne Colodny told jurors the video was intended only so they could gauge his size compared to her. He was much beefier in the videos than he is now after an extended period in jail. The trial continues Wednesday.

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