Readers like you keep news free for everyone.

More than 5,000 readers have already pitched in to keep free access to The Journal.

For the price of one cup of coffee each week you can help keep paywalls away.

Support us today
Not now
Dublin: 22°C Sunday 7 August 2022

Man who posted photo of his dead wife on Facebook says he acted in self-defence

Derek Medina’s lawyer claimed his wife, Jennifer Alonso, used Ecstasy and worshipped Satan.

Florida Killing-Facebook Source: Associated Press

A MAN WHO killed his wife and posted a photo of her corpse on Facebook shot her in self-defence because he lived in fear of her drug abuse, violent tendencies and even Satan worship, his lawyer said this week.

Defense lawyer Saam Zangeneh said on Monday that he will seek to introduce evidence that 27-year-old Jennifer Alfonso was an avid user of synthetic drugs such as Ecstasy, that she battered her husband and that she was deeply involved in the occult and Satan worship.

Jury selection began yesterday for Derek Medina, 33, who faces life in prison if convicted of the August 2013 killing at the couple’s South Miami home.

Medina has been in jail since his arrest.

The case gained international attention because Medina posted the photo of Alfonso’s body on Facebook, admitting in the post that he killed her and would probably go to prison.

In later interviews with police, however, he said it was self-defence.

Zangeneh said Alfonso started the fight, which escalated to the point where she came after Medina with a knife. He then shot her.

Florida Killing Facebook Source: Associated Press

During a trial evidence hearing before Circuit Court Judge Yvonne Colodny, Medina’s lawyer argued:

She initiated a confrontation. My client tried to calm her down.

Prosecutor Scott Dunn urged Colodny to limit the defence’s use of the allegations involving Alfonso, reminding the judge that she is the victim and is not on trial.

It is not open season on a victim just because a defendant is claiming self-defence.

The prosecution will seek to cast doubt on the self-defence claim, with evidence that Medina was an accomplished amateur boxer who had little to fear from his physically weaker wife.

Other evidence shows that Medina had years earlier told a friend he would kill Alfonso if she ever tried to leave him, which her friends said was her plan.

Colodny ruled that the evidence involving the Alfonso allegations could only be used if the proper legal foundation is laid for the jury. She also imposed some limits on the prosecution’s use of the Medina boxing evidence.

I’m not going to permit fishing expeditions. We’re going to keep it to the facts of the case.

Read: Florida man charged with murder after posting pictures of dead wife on Facebook>

About the author:

Associated Press

Read next: