Jury in Derek Medina murder trial sees victim's messages from day of shooting
Kelly Harwood spoke to victim minutes before Jennifer Alfonso fatally shot in 2013
MIAMI – Jurors in the murder trial of a man who claims he shot his wife in self-defense and then posted a picture of her body on Facebook heard recorded testimony Friday from a woman who spoke with the victim on the day she was killed.
Kelly Harwood testified via Skype with the attorneys and judge present earlier this week. Harwood can't travel because she is pregnant and due to give birth soon.
Harwood and Jennifer Alfonso were exchanging Facebook messages minutes before Alfonso was shot to death in the kitchen of her South Miami townhouse in August 2013. Alfonso indicated during those messages that she was angry at Derek Medina, who she suspected may have been cheating on her.
Of particular importance to the defense are two statements that Alfonso made to Harwood during their conversation.
"I felt like ripping his face off an hour ago," Alfonso wrote.
Then came another statement that defense attorney Saam Zangeneh argued speaks to Alfonso's mental state at the time of the shooting.
"I need to calm down because I feel like I'm about to explode," Alfonso wrote.
Earlier in the day, Miami-Dade County Judge Yvonne Colodny chastised the defense for trying to admit certain evidence about battered spouse syndrome through Medina's recorded statement to police after he turned himself in.
"Let's focus on the specific issues," Colodny said. "I don't need the barbs back and forth. This has been a messy trial from the beginning. I'm trying to keep this ship upright and sailing forward and proper so both parties get a fair trial here."
Jurors also heard the testimony of Alfonso's then-10-year-old daughter, who said she heard her mother fighting with Medina downstairs on the day of the killing.
During cross examination while Medina's aunt was on the stand, the prosecution took the opportunity to challenge the defense's argument that Medina was hurt during a fight with Alfonso.
"When he walked in, he wasn't complaining of any pain or injuries to you, isn't that correct?" assistant state attorney Leah Klein asked.
"No. Yes, that's correct," Valerie Medina answered.
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