Defense attorney in Derek Medina murder trial questions lead detective

South Florida man claims self-defense in wife's fatal shooting

Defense attorney Saam Zangeneh cross examines lead Detective Jonathan Grossman in the Derek Medina murder trial.
Defense attorney Saam Zangeneh cross examines lead Detective Jonathan Grossman in the Derek Medina murder trial.

MIAMI – The murder trial for a South Florida man who claims that he killed his wife in self-defense before posting a photo of her corpse on Facebook got off to a delayed start in its second week because of a shooting investigation that closed Interstate 95.

Some of the jurors in the trial were delayed getting to court Monday, prompting Judge Yvonne Colodny to jokingly welcome them to Miami.

The trial then picked up where it left off last week, with the lead detective in the police investigation testifying about his conversation with Derek Medina on the day of the fatal shooting.

Medina is accused of fatally shooting Jennifer Alfonso, 27, in the kitchen of their South Miami townhouse in August 2013. Police said Medina uploaded a photo of Alfonso's body on Facebook after the shooting.

Detective Jonathan Grossman spoke about the pictures that police took of Medina on the day of the shooting. Jurors were shown photographs of a much heavier Medina, who did not appear to have any physical injuries as the prosecution attempted to debunk the defense's self-defense claim.

Grossman recalled that, in the days after the shooting, Medina appeared to be "agitating" his skin while he was in jail.

Defense attorney Saam Zangeneh spent much of the afternoon trying to discredit Grossman during cross examination.

"Did you sit down and look at the evidence and think to yourself, 'How is this possible?'" Zangeneh asked Grossman about.

"I think it's very possible," Grossman answered.

"Well, I guess that's a question the jurors are going to make a determination," Zangeneh said.

"Absolutely," Grossman said.

Grossman testified that Medina claimed Alfonso had a knife, but he said Medina told him she was holding it as if she was going to commit suicide.

"I don't recall him saying that she was ... attacking him with a knife at that point," Grossman said.

Zangeneh seemed to suggest that Grossman's investigation was mishandled.

"What's more important, getting the truth or getting the answers that you want?" Zangeneh asked to objection from the prosecution.

Colodny was also considering whether a friend of Alfonso should be allowed to testify for the state. She claims that Alfonso sent her a text message on the day she died, a possible indication of Alfonso's state of mind.

The trial was scheduled to resume Tuesday.

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