MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The state rested its case in the murder trial of the man dubbed the “Facebook killer.”
Derek Medina shot and killed his 27-year old wife, Jennifer Alfonso, in their South Miami home on August 8th, 2013, while Alfonso’s daughter was upstairs, according to police. He then posted a photograph of her body on Facebook, with a caption that read, in part: “I’m going to prison or death sentence for killing my wife.”
Day six of the trial began with a defense request that Alfonso’s 12-year old daughter testify at the trial. The state expressed concern her emotional well-being if she was to testify about her mother’s murder. Circuit Judge Yvonne Colodny then ordered that the girl’s father be served a notice of appearance. It is not clear if she will testify in person.
The first person to take the stand was Deputy Medical Examiner Dr. Emma Lew. With the use of graphic autopsy photos she described each of the entry and exit wounds on Alfonso’s body. Alfonso had been shot eight times. Lew testified that that from the positioning of the wounds, Alfonso was cowering before she was shot.
Dr. Lew testified that Alfonso was likely on her knees, holding up her arms to protect herself when Medina opened fire.
“The physical evidence supports it. She received a lot of gunshot wounds on her head, her chest, her neck.”
Dr. Lew changed her testimony several times during the defense attorney’s cross examination.
The defense also gave its opening statement today, which it waived on Day 1 of the trial, painting Alfonso as the villain.
“She was outraged at the fact that she had lost control over the man she had been abusing, the man she had been controlling,” defense attorney Saam Zanganeh told the jury.
He also laid out the claim that Alfonso may have been high on bath salts, and enraged when she pulled out a knife in the confrontation before Medina went upstairs to get the gun he used to kill her.
“If I show you a knife, you’ve got to give Derek back his life,” he told the jury.
The defense attorney also told the jury they would see a videotaped interview with the victim’s 12 year old daughter, about the argument the couple had before her mother was killed.
The defense will continue when trial starts again Thursday morning.
On Tuesday, the jury saw a video of Medina and his wife in the moments before the shooting.
It shows Alfonso walking in and out of the kitchen, several times, washing dishes. Then Medina comes into the kitchen. They have a physical struggle off camera.
Medina heads upstairs while Alfonso stays in the kitchen. He comes back down walks out of the camera’s view and opens fire, shooting her eight times, as residue from the shots flies into the camera lens.
Prosecutors described the off-camera confrontation.
“So she’s hitting her husband who just came downstairs waving a gun in her face. Medina said after he shot her a couple of times, she continued fighting him,” said prosecutor Jay Scott Dunn.
During Lew’s testimony Wednesday, she said after examination of the wounds Alfonso could not have used left hand or made fist once shooting began. Lew said the evidence indicates Alfonso was on her knees with her arms up in a defensive manner when she was shot to death.
During the defense cross examination, Mauricio Padilla questioned Lew as to why her opinions changed from January of this year. She replied that her stance changed as her interpretation of the evidence changed.
Lew also appeared to back track slightly on her previous comment that Alfonso was on her knees when she was shot. She added it was a hypothetical situation posed by the state and supported by the evidence.
In several instances, Lew changed her answer from “yes” to “probably,” accusing the defense of “cornering her.”
Defense began their case and said they planned to introduce recorded testimony from a friend of Alfonso with whom she texted the morning of the shooting. The two reportedly talked about how upset she was with Medina as the two argued.
Medina faces life in prison if convicted.