Florida 'Facebook killer' found guilty of second-degree murder
A jury on Wednesday found a Florida man guilty of second-degree murder after he killed his wife and posted a photo of her blood-spattered body on Facebook.
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Jurors rejected the argument that Derek Medina, 33, acted in self-defense when he shot 27-year-old Jennifer Alfonso eight times in August 2013 at their Miami-area residence, according to a circuit court spokeswoman in Miami-Dade County. Prosecutors argued he killed her after an argument in which she threatened to leave him.
Prosecutors said they would seek the maximum sentence for Medina, who faces 25 years to life in prison at a sentencing hearing scheduled for January.
"No family should ever have to see their daughter killed and then exhibited world-wide on the internet like some macabre trophy to a husband's anger as was Jennifer Alfonso," State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said in a statement.
Medina was also found guilty of shooting or throwing a deadly missile and of child neglect without bodily harm, having left his wife's minor daughter alone in the home after the shooting.
"We're disappointed in the jury's decision but we respect the process," said lead defense attorney Saam Zangeneh, adding his team was exploring potential appeals.
On the day Alfonso died, the couple fought, and then Medina retrieved a .380-caliber pistol from his bedroom and shot her repeatedly in a premeditated act of murder, prosecutors told jurors during the trial.
"Every single shot hit her because he was aiming and he wanted her dead," Assistant State Attorney Leah Klein said in court.
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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," Zangeneh said in closing statements.
A 2013 medical examiner's report found Medina shot Alfonso at a downward angle at point-blank range.
Medina married Alfonso in 2010. The couple divorced in early 2012, then remarried a few months later.
(Writing by Letitia Stein; Editing by Dan Grebler and Peter Cooney)
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