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Day 1 Of "Facebook Killer" Trial Focuses On Minutes After Shooting

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The first day of the murder trial of Derek Medina, the man dubbed "the Facebook killer," did not focus on the social media aspect of this case. It focused on the moments after the shooting.

Medina shot and killed his 27-year old wife, Jennifer Alfonso, in their South Miami home on August 8th, 2013, while Alfonso's daughter was upstairs, according to police. He then posted a photograph of her dead body on Facebook, with a caption that read, in part: "I'm going to prison or death sentence for killing my wife."

During questioning by the police after the shooting, Medina claimed the two were arguing when Alfonso pulled out a knife. He said he was able to disarm her and placed the knife back in the kitchen drawer. And that's when he claims she attacked him again.

Before the start of the opening statements, the judge ruled on a couple of motions, the first of which caught the defense off guard.

Prosecutor Leah Klein revealed that she had a letter from a jailhouse snitch who claims he knows Medina. Judge Yvonne Colodny read the four page letter in which the inmate claims to have heard several admissions from Medina including he had plans to kill his wife. According to the inmate, Medina confessed to him that the murder of his wife was premeditated.

The defense called for the mistrial saying the surprise witness did not give him a chance to prepare, and properly select, a jury based on the new evidence. The judge denied the mistrial.

Another set back for the defense came when Judge Colodny informed them that she would not reconsider her ruling which excluded one of their experts from testifying that Medina suffered from male "battered spouse syndrome." The defense plans to argue that the shooting was in self defense.

In her opening statement, Klein referenced Medina's record of 25 wins and no losses as an amateur boxer and laid out the sequence of events that led to the shooting.

"She started punching him in the chest and arm and that's when he shot her. Not one time to get her off of him, not three times, not five times, he emptied the clip. Eight shots at Jennifer," said Klein. "He had just killed his unarmed wife and what did he do? He took a picture of her, bent backwards from being on her knees, cowering in the corner of the kitchen while he was shooting her. And he posted it on Facebook."

Klein said he posted the picture because "he did what people do when they win. He told people about it."

Klein said he told the world about it on his terms.

In an unusual move, the defense waived its right to an opening statement, and instead will be able to make a statement to the jury after the state completes its case.

The first witness to take the stand was Alfonso's mother who recounted how her daughter met Medina when she was a waitress at Denny's and he was a regular.

She testified that they married a month or two after dating. She said they would often argue and he would bring Alfonso to her mother's house with her things. Then they'd get back together. When the defense asked if she knew that Medina was an amateur boxer, she replied no.

Fausto Pena, a former co-worker of Medina, testified that he called him to report he would not be at work because he had killed his wife. Pena said he thought it was a joke and told him to stop playing around. Medina said he wasn't joking.

Medina's former boss at the Gables Club took the stand next. He testified that Medina called him after he had killed his wife and he said he had to do right thing and call the police. He also testified that Medina told him he couldn't take his wife abusing him anymore.

On Tuesday afternoon, a police dispatcher who took Medina's details when he showed up at the station to reportedly confess to the shooting testified that he appeared calm yet bothered. He said his wife had come at him with a knife and he shot her. When asked where the gun was, Medina said it was in a closet and the knife was in the kitchen.

The next witness focused on Alfonso's 10-year-old daughter, who was upstairs during the shooting.

Miami-Dade Police Officer Frank Moreno described using a pick-axe and sledgehammer to force his way into the locked home.

He found the little girl upstairs, holding a blanket, watching TV with it blaring at full volume.

She told the officer, Medina had told her not to come downstairs.

The officer describes how he tried to prevent the girl from seeing her mother's body by covering her head with the blanket, while other officers blocked the entrance to the kitchen with their bodies.

The state has charged Medina with child neglect for leaving the girl.

Klein pointed out, "He had time to take a picture and post about himself but no time to call someone to come get Isabel."

A former South Miami police officer testified he did tell him about the little girl, about half an hour after the killing.

He also testified that Medina told him fire rescue would be of no use to Alfonso.

"She's dead. I know she's dead because I emptied my .380 in her, 5 shots," testified the officer.

He went on to say Medina told him, "I was involved in an argument with my wife and she was hitting me. She's been hitting me for a long time so I shot her."

Medina faces life in prison if convicted of first degree murder. His trial resumes Thursday.

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