MIAMI (Reuters) - A man accused of shooting his wife and then posting a photo of her lifeless body on Facebook pleaded not guilty at a court hearing in Miami where he was formally charged with second degree murder.
Derek Medina appeared Thursday in Miami circuit court three weeks after the death of his wife, Jennifer Alfonso. He was held without bond and could face a life sentence if convicted. Prosecutors may seek a first-degree murder charge when a grand jury meets next month.
Medina, 31, gained notoriety when he allegedly confessed in a Facebook posting that he had just shot and killed 26-year-old Alfonso in the kitchen of their South Miami townhouse because she was punching and physically abusing him. The posting was accompanied by a photo of her bloodied body on the floor.
Medina wrote to his "friends" on Facebook, "I'm going to prison or death sentence for killing my wife. Love you guys, Miss you guys ... My wife was punching me, and I am not going to stand any more with the abuse so I did what I did. I hope u understand me."
Miami-Dade Police Department confirmed the authenticity of Medina's Facebook posting.
Medina's arrest affidavit said that he confessed to shooting Alfonso multiple times after a dispute turned violent when she began kicking him and punching him. Alfonso had said she was leaving him, Medina said.
He also told police that Alfonso had armed herself with a knife during their argument, but he said that was after he had gone to his bedroom for a gun.
According to the affidavit, after Medina knew that Alfonso was dead, he changed his clothes and went to his parents, then turned himself in to police.
The author of six online books on topics that include marriage counseling, Medina had been employed on the front desk at a luxury Miami-area condominium. The couple married in 2010, divorced in early 2012, then remarried a few months later.
Editing by David Adams and Jackie Frank