An appellate court has upheld the murder conviction and life sentence of a Miami man who shot his wife and posted a photo of her corpse on Facebook.
The Third District Court of Appeal in Miami on Wednesday rejected claims by Derek Medina that his defense team should have been permitted to put on evidence that he was a battered spouse and that his wife had been aggressive because she was taking pills.
Medina was convicted in the 2013 shooting death of Jennifer Alfonso during an argument in the kitchen of their home.
Attorneys for Medina argued that, two months after the shooting, a bottle containing Alpha-PVP pills, commonly known as "bath salts," was found in a drawer near the kitchen where the shooting occurred.
"In support of appellant's contention, defense counsel offered a video depicting the decedent opening the same drawer on the day of the killing," the appellate court's opinion said. "However, the video did not show the decedent removing anything from the drawer and no evidence was presented that the decedent had ingested or was under the influence of drugs on the day of the crime."
The trial judge ruled that the discovery of the pill bottle "was too remote in time given that many people had unfettered access to the home" during the criminal investigation, found no evidence that Medina was aware she had been taking pills and therefore determined it was not relevant.
"We find no abuse of discretion in the trial court's decision not to admit this evidence," the opinion said.
After killing Alfonso, Medina posted a picture of her body on Facebook and wrote that he'd either go to prison or get a death sentence and would be "in the news" soon.
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