MIAMI -- Derek Medina, the South Miami man accused of shooting his wife and then posting a confession and photo of her body on Facebook, pleaded not guilty Thursday in Miami-Dade Circuit Court.
Medina’s arraignment came three weeks after police say he shot and killed Jennifer Alfonso, 26, in the kitchen of their South Miami townhouse.
He made national headlines when he then posted a photo of Alfonso’s bloody body, bent backward, saying: “I’m going to prison or death sentence for killing my wife. Love you guys. Miss you guys. Take care. Facebook people you’ll see me in the news,” he wrote, claiming he was tired of Alfonso’s physical abuse.
Medina was charged, for now, with second-degree murder with a deadly weapon, child neglect and discharge of a deadly missile. Prosecutors will likely seek a first-degree murder indictment when Miami-Dade’s grand jury returns to session next month.
Medina, 31, appeared before Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Yvonne Colodny. She set a tentative trial date of Nov. 4, although the case will likely be delayed as his defense team begins to review the evidence in the case and schedule depositions of witnesses.
Alfonso’s parents and other relatives appeared in court Thursday, leaving without talking to reporters.
Medina’s defense attorney, Saam Zangeneh, said while his legal team has not settled on a strategy.
“We haven’t seen the evidence. How can we present a defense without having seen the evidence?” Zangeneh told reporters after the brief hearing.
According to court documents, Medina admitted to shooting Alfonso six to eight times after he began punching and kicking her during a heated argument.
He may claim self-defense. However, Medina admitted to police that he had earlier pointed his gun at her, then when she grabbed a kitchen knife, he disarmed her of the weapon before unloading the hail of bullets.
Alfonso’s 10-year-old daughter from a previous relationship was upstairs and not physically harmed.