MIAMI (AP) — Jurors watched a videotaped confession Friday in the trial of a Florida man who claims he shot his wife in self-defense and posted a photo of her bloody body on Facebook to show family members what he did and why.
Derek Medina voluntarily gave the statement to detectives a few hours after turning himself in on Aug. 8, 2013, the day he shot his wife Jennifer Alfonso eight times in the kitchen of their home. Medina was asked initially why he gave himself up so quickly.
"Because I'm not a killer," Medina said on the recording. "It was self-defense."
Medina admitted taking a cellphone photo of his dead wife's body and uploading it on Facebook, along with a posting that said he expected to go to prison but had to kill her because of years of physical abuse. The fight they had the day she was killed was the final straw, he said on the video.
"She was repeatedly punching me and punching, and trying to get at my temple and neck," Medina said, adding that she also came at him with a large kitchen knife. "She was trying to take me out."
Medina, 33, faces a maximum life prison sentence if convicted of murder in the killing of 27-year-old Alfonso. Prosecutors have repeatedly stressed evidence showing that Medina — who was a 200-pound, undefeated amateur boxer and stands about 6 feet tall — could have subdued his 5-foot-6 wife without using a gun. They contend he killed her because she planned to leave him.
However, defense attorneys say there is evidence that Alfonso was an active drug abuser and had at least dabbled in some form of Satan worship. That and the repeated battering, they claim, led Medina to fear his wife — a key element in his self-defense claim.
"I dealt with this for four years," Medina said in the police interview.
Earlier Friday, testimony focused on physical evidence such as the .380-caliber handgun Medina used in the killing, the location of spent shell casings and the knife Alfonso supposedly used to threaten her husband. One piece of evidence — a chipped piece of a kitchen cabinet door possibly caused by a shell casing ejection — could indicate that Alfonso was shot while cowering on her knees.
Medina, however, contends that she continued fighting even as he fired bullets into her body.
"She was still trying to swing at me, trying to lunge at me," he said on the videotape.
The prosecution's main case is expected to end next week. It's not yet clear if Medina will testify in his own defense.
In addition to first-degree murder, Medina is charged with illegally firing a weapon and with child neglect because Alfonso's 10-year-old daughter was in the home at the time of the slaying. The girl was in an upstairs bedroom and did not witness the slaying.
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