Crime

Accused Facebook killer wants trial by judge, not jury

Accused Facebook killer Derek Medina in court Thursday. His lawyer, Mauricio Padillo, is to the left.
Accused Facebook killer Derek Medina in court Thursday. His lawyer, Mauricio Padillo, is to the left. David Ovalle

With long dark locks and a bushy mountain-man beard, accused Facebook killer Derek Medina blurted out an unusual request to the judge on Thursday.

“May I have a bench trial, please?” Medina asked Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Yvonne Colodny in court.

The impromptu request means Medina would forgo a jury of his peers, instead relying on the judge to rule whether he is guilty of murdering his wife back in August 2013.

Slow down, the judge replied. She called the request premature. Trial is set for March.

In a case that drew headlines around the world, Medina shot and killed Jennifer Alfonso during an argument in the kitchen of their South Miami town home. He then uploaded a photo of the body on his public Facebook page, and admitted to killing her in a post.

“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.

Medina is claiming self-defense and that he is a battered spouse. He remains jailed while awaiting trial.

He appeared in court Thursday so that the judge can explain that surveillance-video evidence is being sent to Washington state for a defense expert to examine.

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