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Derek Medina Who Killed Wife Jennifer Alfonso And Posted Photo On Facebook Is Convicted Of Second-Degree Murder

Derek Medina Who Killed Wife Jennifer Alfonso And Posted Photo On Facebook Is Convicted Of Second-Degree Murder Derek Medina
  • WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT 
  • The jury verdict came in the third week of Derek Medina's trial in the August 2013 killing of 27-year-old Jennifer Alfonso
  • Medina admitted in a police statement taking a cellphone photo of his dead wife's body and uploading it on Facebook
  • Prosecutors put on evidence indicating that Medina had vowed to kill Alfonso if she tried to leave him, which she told friends she planned to do
  • Medina's attorney, Saam Zangeneh, said there will be an appeal

 

A man who killed his wife and posted a photo of the bloody corpse on Facebook was convicted Wednesday of second-degree murder after failing to convince a jury that he shot her eight times in self-defense.

Derek Medina killed 27-year-old Jennifer Alfonso at their South Miami home before telling police in a videotaped statement that he shot his wife during an altercation in which she threatened him with a knife.

Medina, who did not testify in his own defense, admitted in the police statement taking a cellphone photo of his dead wife's body and uploading it on Facebook, along with a posting that said he expected to go to prison but was forced to kill her following years of physical abuse.

Convicted: Derek Medina, who killed his wife and posted a photo of the bloody corpse on Facebook, was convicted Wednesday of second-degree murder

Convicted: Derek Medina, who killed his wife and posted a photo of the bloody corpse on Facebook, was convicted Wednesday of second-degree murder

Reaction: Carolyn Knox, center, mother of murder victim Jennifer Alfonso, sits with her husband Rohan Knox left, as the verdict is read during Derek Medina's trial

Reaction: Carolyn Knox, center, mother of murder victim Jennifer Alfonso, sits with her husband Rohan Knox left, as the verdict is read during Derek Medina's trial

Medina admitted in the police statement taking a cellphone photo of his dead wife's body and uploading it to his Facebook page

Medina admitted in the police statement taking a cellphone photo of his dead wife's body and uploading it to his Facebook page

A post from a Facebook profile identified as belonging to Derek Medina says 'Im going to prison or death sentence for killing my wife' 

A post from a Facebook profile identified as belonging to Derek Medina says 'Im going to prison or death sentence for killing my wife' 

Couple: Derek Medina and Jennifer Alfonso are seen together in this Facebook photograph 

Couple: Derek Medina and Jennifer Alfonso are seen together in this Facebook photograph 

Prosecutors said Medina vowed to kill Mrs Alfonso if she tried to leave him, which she told friends she planned to do. 

They also pointed out that at 6ft and about 200lbs, Medina could have easily overpowered his 5ft 6ins without shooting her.

'He planned to execute Jen, and he executed his plan,' prosecutor Leah Klein told jurors in a closing argument. 'He was angry and he wanted her dead. 

 

Alfonso's mother, Carolyn Knox, burst into tears when the verdict was read after about six hours of jury deliberation over two days.

Medina showed no emotion as he was handcuffed and led back to jail, where he has been held since the killing. His attorney, Saam Zangeneh, said he plans to appeal.

'We have to respect the jury's decision. We just don't agree with it,' he said. 'We think this is a self-defense case.' 

Years behind bars? The second-degree murder conviction means that Medina, 33, faces a sentence of 25 years to life in prison

Years behind bars? The second-degree murder conviction means that Medina, 33, faces a sentence of 25 years to life in prison

Footage: Defense attorney Saam Zangeneh, right, looks at a 2012 or earlier video of  the murder victim Jennifer Alfonso and defendant Derek Medina, making contact in a home surveillance video during the trial 

Footage: Defense attorney Saam Zangeneh, right, looks at a 2012 or earlier video of the murder victim Jennifer Alfonso and defendant Derek Medina, making contact in a home surveillance video during the trial 

The second-degree murder conviction means that Medina, 33, faces a sentence of 25 years to life in prison. 

If he had been convicted of first-degree murder as initially charged - which requires proof of planning and premeditation - the life sentence would have been automatic.

Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Yvonne Colodny set sentencing for January 11. Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said in a statement her office would seek the maximum of life behind bars.

'No family should ever have to see their daughter killed and then exhibited worldwide on the Internet like some macabre trophy to a husband's anger as was Jennifer Alfonso,' Rundle said.

The evidence, she added, showed that 'Derek Medina coldly murdered his wife to heal his own injured ego'.

Embrace: Carolyn Knox, right, mother of murder victim Jennifer Alfonso, receives a hug from Miami-Dade homicide Det. Jonathan Grossman, after Derek Medina was found guilty of second degree murder

Embrace: Carolyn Knox, right, mother of murder victim Jennifer Alfonso, receives a hug from Miami-Dade homicide Det. Jonathan Grossman, after Derek Medina was found guilty of second degree murder

Tracked: Derek Medina is finger printed by corrections officer Juan DeJesus after he was found guilty of second-degree murder

Tracked: Derek Medina is finger printed by corrections officer Juan DeJesus after he was found guilty of second-degree murder

Trial testimony showed the couple began fighting in their upstairs bedroom because Medina had failed to wake up his wife early that morning to watch a movie, as he had promised. Investigators testified that Alfonso threw mascara containers and towels at Medina, who pointed a gun at her in the bedroom but did not fire.

In a text message to a friend that morning, Alfonso said she 'felt like ripping his face off' and was 'about to explode' because of Medina's actions and added she just wanted more attention.

'I just want to spend time with him but I'm not going to beg,' she wrote shortly before her death.

Later, the altercation continued in the downstairs kitchen — some of it captured on one of the home's interior surveillance cameras. Medina told police Alfonso pulled a large kitchen knife on him and that he was able to disarm her, then went back upstairs for the gun and shot his wife when she kept fighting with her fists.

'She was trying to take me out,' Medina said in the statement.

Response: Medina showed absolutely no emotion as he was handcuffed and led back to jail, where he has been held since the killing. His attorney, Saam Zangeneh, said there will be an appeal

Response: Medina showed absolutely no emotion as he was handcuffed and led back to jail, where he has been held since the killing. His attorney, Saam Zangeneh, said there will be an appeal

A medical examiner, however, testified that the eight shots were all fired downward toward Alfonso and that the position of her body on the kitchen floor indicated she had been cowering on her knees when killed.

Medina was also convicted of illegally firing a weapon inside a dwelling and with child neglect because Alfonso's 10-year-old daughter was in the home at the time of the slaying. 

The girl was in an upstairs bedroom and did not witness killing, but she was left alone for several hours while Medina went to turn himself in to police.

Defense attorneys sought unsuccessfully to admit evidence they said indicated that Alfonso was a heavy drug abuser and had dabbled in some form of Satan worship. They also were unable to get in evidence from a purported 'shadow' expert they said indicated two upright figures were fighting in reflections in the kitchen's stainless steel sink. 

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