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Sunday, June 11, 2017

Derek Medina: The Facebook Wife Killer

     After dating a few months in late 2009, Derek Medina and Jennifer Alfonso got married. Because he was the jealous type and extremely controlling, they frequently fought. Early in 2012 Jennifer had enough. They divorced, but a few months later, after Medina talked her into it, they remarried. For Jennifer this turned out to be a terrible mistake.

     In 2013, the 31-year-old Medina and his 26-year-old wife lived with her ten-year-old daughter from a previous relationship in a townhouse in South Miami, Florida. She worked as a server at a nearby Denny's Restaurant. He had a job as a property manager at a Coral Gables condo, the most recent of his string of short-term employments.

     Medina had self-published six online books with rambling, nonsensical titles like, How a Judgmental and Selfish Attitude is Destroying the World We Live Because the World is Vanishing Our Eyes. He had also written a book about one of his passions--ghost hunting. Medina had dedicated his most recent work--How I Save Someone's Life and Marriage and Family Problems Thru Communication--to Jennifer.

     In addition to being a prolific writer, with 143 videos featuring himself on YouTube and Facebook, Median fancied himself a public person. As an extra on some TV drama, he had gotten a taste of the entertainment world. On YouTube, his handful of fans could see him hitting golf balls, playing pick-up basketball, showing off his tattoos, riding in a boat, and having a drink poolside with his wife. Derek Medina was a poster-boy for today's culture of cheesy narcissism where everyone is an aspiring celebrity.

     On the morning of August 1, 2013, Medina, on his Facebook page, published a disturbing photograph of his bloodied wife lying dead on a linoleum floor. In the message accompanying the death scene photograph, Medina wrote: "I'm going to prison or [getting the] death sentence for killing my wife. My wife was punching me and I'm not going to stand anymore with the abuse so I did what I did. Hope you understand me. Love you guys. Miss you guys. Take care Facebook people. You'll see me in the news."

     At noon on the day he shot and killed Jennifer, Medina walked into a South Miami police station and informed officers that he had shot his wife to death. He told homicide detectives that Jennifer had threatened to leave him which led to a heated argument. According to Medina's account of the killing, he grabbed his pistol from a closet on the second floor and pointed it at Jennifer who had followed him up the stairs. After he put the pistol back into the closet, the couple returned to the kitchen where she took possession of a knife. He wrestled the knife out of her hand, but the fight continued with her punching and kicking him. Media told the detectives he walked upstairs, retrieved the gun, then shot his wife to death in the kitchen. At the time of the killing, her daughter was in a second-floor bedroom.

     After killing Jennifer, Median changed his clothes and drove to his parents' house. He left the little girl behind with her dead mother. He did not call 911, but posted the photograph of Jennifer's corpse and the accompanying message on Facebook before turning himself into the authorities. He wanted his Facebook fans to be the first to know what he had done.

     Later that afternoon, police officers with the South Miami Police Department, armed with a search warrant, entered the townhouse where they found the victim and the 10-year-old girl. At the request of the police, Facebook personnel removed the death scene photograph from the site. A Miami-Dade County prosecutor charged Derek Medina with first-degree murder.

     Jennifer Alfonso's former boss at Denny's told a reporter that Media was so jealous he didn't want his wife working at night, or even to talk to other people on the telephone. Every time she threatened to leave him and they fought, he'd beg her forgiveness and promised to change. The former boss said that after one of their fights, she would come to the restaurant  "bruised up."

     An Amazon.com reviewer posted the following comment regarding Medina's 42-page book on how he had saved a marriage: "Medina hits the bulls' eye with this definitive guide to marriage. He pulls no punches as he gives out advice to die for. Don't waste time and grab a copy at this killer price, as we are sure to hear more about this rising star in the news...."

     The local magistrate denied Derek Medina bond.

     In November 2015, following a short trial in which Medina did not testify on his own behalf, the jury found him guilty of second-degree murder. On February 5, 2016, the judge sentenced him to life in prison.

     

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