Watch CBS News

Jurors Start Deliberations, Don't Reach Verdict In 'Facebook Murder' Trial

Follow CBSMIAMI.COM: Facebook | Twitter

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The fate of the man dubbed the "Facebook killer" is now in the hands of the jury.

The jury got the case of 33-year-old Derek Medina after more than two weeks of testimony.

Medina reportedly confessed to killing his 27-year-old wife, Jennifer Alfonso, in their South Miami home on August 8th, 2013. He then posted a photograph of her body on Facebook, with a caption that read, in part: "I'm going to prison or death sentence for killing my wife."

The jury deliberated about two-and-a-half hours Tuesday but did not reach a verdict. The panel will return Wednesday to continue.

The prosecution's closing arguments focused on each charge Medina is facing, first mentioning Alfonso's little girl's experience in the incident, at one point flashing a picture of Alfonso's dead body to jurors. The attorney also focused on Medina's actions before, during and after Alfonso's death.

They put a lot of focus on the amount of times he pulled the trigger and how he changed his clothes following her death, and posted the picture of her body on Facebook.

"To talk about himself to get himself in the news. Before, during and after. All evidence points to premeditation which makes him guilty of 1st degree murder," Klein told the jury.

Around 3 p.m., it was defense's turn which focused on discrediting prosecution's case. They focused their closing argument on the fact that Medina turned himself in. At one point, they laid out the floor plan of the kitchen to show the dimensions where the incident happened.

The defense attorney, yet again, pulled out the knife, presumably used by Alfonso, during the closing argument, saying the knife created reasonable doubt for Medina to be in fear of his life.

"At this point we have created reasonable doubt. That's what that is. The second you agree that that's a knife...she's armed within 1.6 seconds and moving this knife right next to Derek," defense attorney Saam Zanganeh said in his closing statement.

To counter, prosecutors argued they had facts to back up their argument, showing a video of the moments before Alfonso was killed, asking jurors to compare that video to what Medina said led up to her death. They then played a video of Medina walking into the kitchen, moments before the shooting, analyzing his body language. The prosecutor also questioned why the knife was found in the kitchen drawer if Alfonso had it in her hand when she was shot. The State wrapped just after 5:30 p.m.

The day's proceedings began with a hearing to determine if the defense's final expert would be allowed to testify in front of the jury.

Daniel Schumaker is an expert in shadow analysis. He went to the crime scene, observed the lighting and used crime scene photos to determine which lights on during shooting. Schumaker told the judge he uses 3D animation software to analyze the shadows to determine actions which may have caused them.

Schumaker says use of shadow analysis has never challenged in any prior court where he testified about it.  According to Schumaker's website, his analysis has been used in 60 criminal and 20 civil trials including the trial of George Zimmerman for the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.

Schumaker is a key expert for the defense. He was expected to testify that shadows in home security video – that did not capture the actual confrontation – show Alfonso was in an aggressive posture when she was shot.

In the end, Judge Yvonne Colodny ruled that the jury would not hear Schumaker's testimony.

Medina and his attorney then announced that he would not be testify in his own defense.

On Monday South Miami Police Detective Jose Lopez recounted how Medina came to the police station the day he shot his wife.

"The gentleman had come in and said he just killed his wife," Lopez testified. "He stated that he had got into an argument with his wife, the argument escalated, she grabbed a knife, he got his gun and he shot her," the detective quoted Medina as saying.

The defense maintains Medina shot his wife in self defense. They claim he was verbally and physically abused by his wife on a regular basis. They've also used the term "battered spouse syndrome" during arguments outside the presence of the jury.

Medina faces life in prison if convicted of first-degree murder.


View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.