MIAMI (AP) – A South Florida man pleaded not guilty Wednesday to first-degree murder charges in the fatal shooting of his wife, whose bloody corpse was later depicted in photos he posted on Facebook.
The plea was entered during a brief hearing by an attorney for Derek Medina, 31, who also faces charges of illegally discharging a firearm inside their South Miami home and with child neglect without violence. The young daughter of Medina’s wife, 26-year-old Jennifer Alfonso, was in the home at the time, but was not harmed.
No decision has been made on whether the state will seek the death penalty, said Assistant State Attorney J. Scott Dunn. Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Yvonne Colodny set a Jan. 29 status hearing to discuss the potential death penalty and scheduled a tentative trial date for March 17.
Medina, in red jail jumpsuit and a full, dark beard, did not speak during the hearing. His attorneys have previously said he shot his wife in self-defense while she attacked him after several previous abusive episodes. Police say she was cowering and likely on her knees when Medina filed the fatal shots.
Prosecutors said they also have evidence that Medina had told other people he would kill Alfonso if she ever tried to leave him. Medina himself told investigators his wife had announced she was leaving earlier that day.
Medina attorney Saam Zanganeh said he could not predict whether prosecutors would go for the death penalty.
“It’s something that is potentially available to them. We have no influence,” he said.
Zanganeh also said evidence received from Facebook totals between 7,000 and 8,000 documents and that the defense is still awaiting videotapes from a surveillance system inside the couple’s home. Some of their confrontation is depicted on those tapes, but Zanganeh said attorneys want to look at more of it.
“We’re still waiting for a substantial amount of evidence,” he said.
According to a statement Medina made to police, he decided to post the photos of his dead wife on Facebook to notify friends and family about what had happened. Their argument began, he said, after he failed to wake up in time for the couple’s plans to watch movies on television.
Along with the photos, Medina added on Facebook, “Im going to prison or death sentence for killing my wife love you guys miss you guys take care Facebook people you will see me in the news.”
Follow Curt Anderson on Twitter:
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
- 6 coolest things brewing in Arizona
- The virus that keeps head and neck cancers on the rise
- State Fair ‘Kid Reporter’ has all the angles covered
- 4 important things to know about timeshare maintenance fees
- Signs of delayed car crash injuries
- The truth about sports concussions
- The Alzheimer's epidemic: Facts you need to know
- The season is here, keep your Fantasy Football team strong all season
- 8 TV shows you can't miss this fall
- Football is here: 6 tips to make this your best season ever
- Gameday recipes and beers to match
- 6 reasons the Cardinals are driven to win the Super Bowl
- The Pac-12 football season nears kickoff
- Tips to get ready for a pain-free golf season
- Protect your family with these 7 home security features
- How to train like an Olympic swimmer
- 2016 Olympics: A guide to must-see TV events
- The bride's guide to feeling your best on your wedding day
- Deciding when you need knee surgery
- Celebrating Fourth of July is much cooler in these AZ towns
- Top ten road trip bathrooms in America
- Six things causing a pain in your neck
- 5 things to make your summer move easier
- Three elements of a strong timeshare exit guarantee
- Stretches and exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome
- The best Major League ballparks have their own personality
- Comparing the best regular seasons: The '96 Bulls and '16 Warriors
- 3 Arizona road trips and the vehicles to get you there
- Colon cancer is preventable. Check these signs and symptoms to stay healthy.
- 6 of the biggest skin cancer myths