A Florida man accused of shooting his wife and then posting a photo of her dead body on Facebook pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder Thursday.
Derek Medina, 31, has also been charged with, and pleaded not guilty to, child neglect and discharge of a deadly missile. Prosecutors may also seek a first-degree murder charge against Medina after a grand jury is available to evaluate the case, according to HLN affiliate WSVN. Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Yvonne Colodny set a preliminary trial date of November 4.
A picture of Jennifer Alfonso’s bloodstained body — collapsed and contorted on the kitchen floor — was posted to Medina’s Facebook timeline on August 8 with a note, according to authorities.
“Im going to prison or death sentence for killing my wife love you guys miss you guys takecare Facebook people you will see me in the news,” he purportedly wrote. The note also accuses Alfonso, 26, of being abusive.
The gruesome image of Alfonso’s body was passed around for at least five hours before being removed by Facebook employees, who also disabled Medina’s page and that of his deceased wife.
Medina reportedly drove to see other family members to tell them what he did before turning himself in to police, according to his arrest affidavit. The couple has a 10-year-old daughter, who was in the house at the time of the shooting. Police say she was physically “unharmed.”
The police report with Medina’s confession may potentially cast a more detailed light on the course of events that day.
This was Medina’s account to Miami Dade police:
He and his wife argued. He pulled a gun on her. She threatened to leave him. He put the gun away and followed her. She unloaded a volley of punches on him. He fetched the gun again. She pulled a knife. He wrestled it out of her hands. She punched him again.
Then he shot her “multiple times.”
He felt certain she was dead. He did not call 911, the affidavit states. He changed clothes, and after seeing his family, went to a police station and began the process of confessing.
After he gave police his address, they drove to the scene, where they found the body.
Medina self-published self-help books and maintained a website called EmotionalWriter.com. His books claim to be about “effective communication” and “marriage counseling tips,” according to the website.
“Derek Medina is an emotional writer. His goal is to save people’s lives thru his books he has published,” the website says. “My goal is for you, the readers, to open up your eyes and change for the better.”
Hours before the slaying, Medina posted a picture of his wife, his daughter and himself having dinner together outdoors at a marina.
They were all smiling.
™ & © 2013 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.