In the murder confession he published on Facebook shortly before posting a picture of his wife's lifeless body, Derek Medina claimed his wife was punching him and he was "not going to stand anymore with the abuse." This morning, the Miami Herald reported Medina is "likely to claim self-defense."
According to the arrest affidavit, Medina claims he was in a verbal argument with his wife, Jennifer Alfonso, that morning and around 10 a.m. went into a closet to arm himself with a gun. He then pointed it at his wife but didn't fire. He claims Alfonso told him that she was leaving him.
Alfonso then went downstairs, and Medina followed her unarmed. He claims she began punching him. He says he then went back upstairs to retrieve the gun. When he returned, Alfonso had armed herself with a kitchen knife. He says he was able to take the knife away and put it back in a drawer, at which point Alfonso began punching him again. That's when he shot her multiple times and left her lifeless body on their South Miami townhouse's kitchen floor.
His father, Derek Medina Sr., has now also claimed that his son killed Alfonso only after she pulled out a knife.
Still, by Medina's own account, he was the first to arm himself with a weapon and had successfully disarmed Alfonso before he shot her.
Several co-workers at a Denny's restaurant where Alfonso worked as a server claim that from their perspective, it seemed Medina was the abuser in the relationship, according to the Herald:
Alfonso's former boss at a West Miami-Dade Denny's told the Miami Herald that the husband was extremely jealous and had hit Alfonso in the past.
"She would be bruised up," said Amada Cooper, who described Medina as a controlling husband who tried to force her to quit her job as a server because he didn't want her working nights.
After several violent episodes, another co-worker implored Alfonso to leave him. "He would always come back, begging her... come back," said Cathy LaBella. "She would say he was going to change. She was in love with him."
Based on Medina's recounting of events, it seems unlikely that a self-defense argument would be successful.
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.