Derek Medina chooses not to testify in Facebook murder trial

25 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Closings Arguments Wrap Up In ‘Facebook Murder’ Trial.

MIAMI — A jury began deliberating Tuesday whether a South Florida man is guilty of murder or acted in self-defense when he fatally shot his wife eight times during an argument and then posted a photo of her dead body on Facebook.During a raging marital argument in their South Miami townhouse, Derek Medina emptied all eight bullets from his .380 caliber pistol into his wife Jennifer Alfonso because “he wanted her dead,” a state prosecutor argued on Tuesday at the trial of the so-called Facebook killer. They put a lot of focus on the amount of times he pulled the trigger and how he changed his clothes following her death, and posted the picture of her body on Facebook. “To talk about himself to get himself in the news.

In his sworn interview with detectives later that day, however, Medina said he took the knife away from his wife but she continued to pummel him and he shot her in self defense. Medina had time, Klein said, to think things over after he walked upstairs in their town house to get his gun, and before he returned to the kitchen to fire the fatal bullets. “He knew exactly what he was going to do when he went down those stairs. He was angry and he wanted her dead,” Klein said. “He planned to execute Jen, and he executed his plan.” Medina faces life in prison if convicted of murder in the August 2013 killing, although jurors could opt for the lesser charge of manslaughter.

He is also charged with illegal discharge of a firearm inside a building and with child neglect because Alfonso’s 10-year-old daughter was in an upstairs bedroom when her mother was killed. The defense claimed that an internal surveillance video, which did not capture the shooting itself but depicts snippets of the altercation, shows “the butt of a knife.” But state prosecutor J. Scott Dunn said Alfonso was not armed with a knife and that Medina’s defense team “flipped” the story around during closing arguments to confuse jurors and raise reasonable doubt about his intent to kill her. “Jennifer was not attacking her husband; she was not beating him,” Dunn said. “What they were doing in that kitchen was having an argument. … The state hopes to take his deposition at his bedside this afternoon and he could testify Tuesday afternoon after being released from the hospital if Judge Yvonne Colodny permits the testimony.

He noted video from a surveillance camera showing part of the kitchen and possibly the handle of a knife, as well as the daughter’s statement that she heard Medina trying to calm her mother down. The defense attorney, yet again, pulled out the knife, presumably used by Alfonso, during the closing argument, saying the knife created reasonable doubt for Medina to be in fear of his life. “At this point we have created reasonable doubt. Alfonso had been text messaging her through Facebook, expressing how angry she was at Medina because he didn’t wake her up at 1 a.m. to watch a movie with her.

The second you agree that that’s a knife…she’s armed within 1.6 seconds and moving this knife right next to Derek,” defense attorney Saam Zanganeh said in his closing statement. You can meet force with force, up to and including deadly force.” Medina said in the police statement he posted the Facebook photo, taken with his cellphone, to show family what he did and explain why.

Medina had admitted to police that he was arguing with his wife in the kitchen before going upstairs to fetch his pistol and returning to confront her again. To counter, prosecutors argued they had facts to back up their argument, showing a video of the moments before Alfonso was killed, asking jurors to compare that video to what Medina said led up to her death. Jurors were allowed to see a stream of text messages between the two of them that also included a text by Alfonso that said she wanted to rip his face off. He also said that she had grabbed a kitchen knife, which he had taken away from her before firing “because she was punching like crazy.” The defense rested on Tuesday, after the judge disallowed its claims that Alfonso was high on rage-inducing “bath salts,” or alpha-PVP, during the spat with her husband.

A short time after the posting, Medina turned himself in to police and raised his self-defense claim. “What were his first words to the world? ‘I’m going to prison,'” said prosecutor J. Colodny also rejected a crime scene expert’s analysis of shadows in a stainless steel sink that purported to show figures standing and fighting before the shooting.

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