A Focus On Forensics In Day 2 Of "Facebook Killer" Trial
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) -- Trial concluded for the day, on Thursday, for the South Miami man dubbed the 'Facebook Killer'.
Much of the day's testimony focused on forensic evidence, including blood spatter.
Derek 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 body on Facebook, with a caption that read, in part: "I'm going to prison or death sentence for killing my wife."
Before the jury entered the courtroom, Judge Yvonne Colodny reversed her decision on an earlier motion from defense which will now allow their expert on battered spouse syndrome to testify. The expert will not be allowed to testify to anything specific about Medina and his relationship with his wife. He will only be able to address questions in terms of hypothetical situations.
The defense maintains that the shooting was in self-defense and that Medina was subjected to spousal abuse.
The first person on the stand was a crime scene investigator who helped process the couple's town home. She answered questions about pictures taken inside the home and several physical items entered into evidence including a damaged kitchen cabinet door.
During the cross examination, defense attorney Saam Zangeneh emphasized that the CSI tech did not take the rug Alfonso's body was lying on for analysis. He then questioned her as to whether she had examined the scene carefully enough.
"You're telling me if somebody shoots like this (pointing his hand down) with a pistol within inches, potentially, of a rug, gunshot residue may not be on that rug," asked Zangeneh.
"I don't know," she replied.
"Well, we won't know either because you guys didn't take the rug to be analyzed, right?" said Zangeneh.
Miami-Dade Crime Scene Detective Anabella Pasqua's testimony bolstered the State's assertion that Alfonso was cowering in the corner of the kitchen when Medina opened fire on her several times.
"My conclusion was that the source of the bloodshed was stationary and the source of the bloodshed was also lower than the area where the blood spatter was located," said Det. Pasqua.
Zangeneh railed against that testimony, again referencing the rug that was never analyzed.
"If Jennifer Alfonso was standing and she was shot further down, fell onto her knees and fell backwards and there was impact spatter on this rug, you didn't check for it, correct? Right," said Zangeneh.
Zangeneh also questioned another CSI tech why she only examined a knife that appeared to have blood on it. Not the others in the kitchen.
The first day of the trial focused on the moments after the shooting. In her opening statement prosecutor Leah Klein said the couple had a violent argument just before Medina took his wife's life.
"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."
The jury saw more than 100 crime scene photos, including grisly pictures showing Alfonso's body on the kitchen floor.
Miami-Dade Police Officer Frank Moreno described using a pick-axe and sledgehammer to force his way into the locked home after Medina had left.
He found Alfonso's 10-year-old daughter 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 described 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 view of the entrance to the kitchen.
Medina's trial resumes Friday at 10 a.m.
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