Jury weighs murder charges for Florida 'Facebook killer'

By Zachary Fagenson
Derek Medina listens to the opening statements during his trial in Miami-Dade Circuit Court in Miami, Florida November 10, 2015. REUTERS/Walter Michot/Miami Herald/Pool

By Zachary Fagenson

MIAMI (Reuters) - A Florida jury began weighing on Tuesday whether a man who killed his wife and posted a photo of her blood-spattered, lifeless body on Facebook committed first-degree murder.

Attorneys for Derek Medina, 33, argued that he was acting in self-defense when he fired eight shots at Jennifer Alfonso, 27, in the kitchen of their Miami-area residence.

The August 2013 shooting followed a fight in which she had threatened to leave, prosecutors said during closing statements. They argued that Medina retrieved a .380-caliber pistol from his bedroom and pulled the trigger repeatedly in a premeditated act of murder.

"Every single shot hit her because he was aiming and he wanted her dead," said Assistant State Attorney Leah Klein in Miami-Dade County circuit court.

Medina wrote on Facebook shortly before turning himself in: "I'm going to prison or death sentence for killing my wife."

"My wife was punching me, and I am not going to stand any more with the abuse so I did what I did," he added in the post.

During the 2-1/2-week trial, defense attorneys described Alfonso as an abusive spouse.

"She wanted to push Derek, and she pushed him too far," defense attorney Saam Zangeneh said in closing statements.

A 2013 medical examiner's report found Medina shot Alfonso at a downward angle at point-blank range. If convicted of murder, he faces life in prison.

Medina, then a front desk condominium supervisor, married Alfonso in 2010. The couple divorced in early 2012, then remarried a few months later.

(Editing by Letitia Stein and Richard Chang)