We all say angry things in the heat of the moment and sometimes we’re given no choice but to lash out. Anger, resentment, disappointment, these are powerful emotions that can illicit extreme, even violent reactions at times.
Derek and his wife Jennifer seemed to always be at each other’s throats for some reason or another. Everyone knew that things would come to a head eventually. They just never expected it to end as it did…
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Carolyn had nothing to do. As she searched for a solution, she did what anyone else would do these days and began lazily surfing Facebook. As she scanned she noticed an unusual joke on her son-in-law’s wall. It read, “Im going to prison or death sentence for killing my wife.”
Now, it’s true that Carolyn’s daughter Jennifer and her husband Derek had never had what one might consider the “perfect relationship.” Still, the two had been with each other for several years and were currently raising Jennifer’s 10-year-old daughter together. Her presence in their home didn’t stop them from fighting constantly though…
The morning of the post had started out like many for the couple. Derek and Jennifer were fighting in their upstairs bedroom because of a very silly reason. Apparently Derek had promised his wife that he would wake her up early so they could watch a movie together and had failed to do so. The argument ended with Jennifer throwing mascara containers and towels at him before he ended the fight by pulling a loaded gun at her.
Even though Derek didn’t fire, the mere fact that he’d pull a gun on her was enough to send Jennifer out of the house for a few hours so the two could cool off. Things had been bad for a while, but not THAT bad. She texted her friend that morning telling them that he she “felt like ripping his face off.” But that morning’s fight was nothing compared to what was coming…
Jennifer Alfonso was miserable with her husband and of late, his actions towards her had been becoming more and more distant and resentful. All she wanted was more attention, but as she told her friend, “I just want to spend time with him but I’m not going to beg…” Still, she didn’t want to leave him: she couldn’t, because Derek Medina threatened to kill her if she did.
When Jennifer returned home later that day, the morning’s altercation was far from over. Their time apart had done nothing to calm their nerves. They fought in the kitchen and the argument got so heated again that Jennifer pulled a large kitchen knife on him. Derek Medina was able to wrestle the knife from his wife but thought he was still in danger, so he ran upstairs…
Find His Piece
Medina went back upstairs for the same gun he had pulled on his wife that very morning. In his mind, he was fighting for his life. Jennifer had threatened him with a knife and he had no other options. He came back downstairs, gun in hand, and when she came at him with her fists in a rage, he fired the gun.
Jennifer Alfonso fell dead to the floor and Derek believed, as he put it, “she was trying to take me out.” The real story of what happened that day, would turn out to be very different than his account. Medina may not have realized it at the time, but the security cameras in the couple’s South Miami home had captured the whole altercation on tape…
A few minutes after the fight ended, Derek Medina came to realize what he had done. He looked down, saw his wife’s dead body bleeding out all over his floor, and did the first thing he could think of: he pulled out his cellphone and took a picture of his handiwork. Then, he made an even worse decision by posting the picture to Facebook.
When Derek Medina posted his deceased wife’s picture on his Facebook page with the caption, “Im going to prison or death sentence for killing my wife” he knew exactly what was going to happen. With no other choices left to him, he got into his car and drove down to the police station to turn himself in for having killed Jennifer in self-defense…
A team of police soon arrived at the scene of the crime, only to find that Derek had left Jennifer’s 10-year-old daughter at home alone with her mother’s dead body. Jennifer Alfonso’s body was taken to the medical examiner’s office where they uncovered some significant inconsistencies with Derek’s “self-defense story.”
On Her Knees
The forensic tests revealed that not only had Jennifer been killed by a total of eight gunshots, but all eight of those shots had been fired downward towards her. This meant, in layman’s terms, that when he killed her, Jennifer Alfonso had been cowering on her knees in the kitchen. When questioned about this in court, Medina’s attorney had an answer for him…
Quite a Defense
Medina’s defense attorneys indicated that Jennifer Alfonso was nothing more than an abusive, heavy drug-using Satan worshipper who threatened Derek every single day. When that didn’t fly based on character witness testimony, they tried to explain the “shadows” in the surveillance cameras indicated two upright characters fighting in the kitchen prior to Medina getting the gun.
Neither the jury, nor the prosecution seemed to buy these cockamamie explanations. How could 5ft 6in Jennifer Alfonso, overpower and threaten the 6ft 300 lb Derek Medina. In fact, prosecutor Leah Klein’s closing argument was a simple statement about Medina’s actions, “He planned to execute Jen, and he executed his plan.” And it wasn’t just murder they had on him either….
In addition to murder, Derek Medina was also convicted of illegally firing a weapon inside a house and child neglect. When he left Jennifer’s daughter alone in the upstairs bedroom and went to the police, there was no one to care for her. These crimes did nothing to ingratiate Mr. Medina into the Jury’s good graces.
Murder in Degrees
At 33 years old Derek Medina was going to spend the next 25 years of his life in prison for the second-degree murder of his wife, Jennifer Alfonso. If he had been planning it, however, as the prosecution alleged, then the charge would have been first-degree murder, and Medina’s life sentence would have been automatic with no chance of parole. So what did the jury decide?
Carolyn Knox, Jennifer’s mother, sat and wept with her husband Rohan and watched as the judge delivered the verdict that would put Derek Medina away for most of his natural life. As for Medina, himself, he stood in handcuffs and showed no emotion at all as he was led back to the jail cell. His attorney says they will be making an appeal.
Saam Zangeneh, Medina’s attorney has come out as saying said that they have to respect the jury’s decision, but they don’t have to agree with it. He insists, like his client, that this was a pure self-defense case and that it was desperation, not anger or vengeance that led Derek to commit the terrible act…
Meanwhile, Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle have come out as saying that the her office wants to seek the maximum sentence of life behind bars for Medina, whom they still believe was planning to kill his wife for weeks prior to the murder. She can’t prove it yet, but she hopes to do so before sentencing.
No One Deserves It
She added, in a statement to the media, that “No family should ever have to see their daughter killed and then exhibited worldwide on the Internet like some macabre trophy to a husband’s anger as was Jennifer Alfonso…Derek Medina coldly murdered his wife to heal his own injured ego…”