MIAMI — MIAMI (AP) — A woman whose husband fatally shot her and posted pictures of her corpse on Facebook was likely cowering and trying to defend herself before she was killed, a police detective testified Tuesday.
The testimony at a hearing by Miami-Dade Detective Jonathan Grossman could undercut 31-year-old Derek Medina's claim that he shot his wife, 26-year-old Jennifer Alonso, in self-defense while she viciously attacked him at their South Miami home.
Grossman said an autopsy and the position of Alonso's body indicates she was on her knees with one arm raised in front of her face when she was shot Aug. 8 during an argument over his failure to wake up in time to watch movies on TV. The trajectories of the .380-caliber bullets indicate they were fired from above her, he added.
"The victim was very low to the ground at the time she was shot," Grossman testified. "The victim appeared to be in a cowering position."
Grossman also said friends and family members told him that Medina had vowed to kill his wife if she ever cheated on him or attempted to leave him. Medina himself told police in a sworn statement that Alonso threatened to leave that day and that she had told a friend the same thing earlier.
The testimony came at a bail hearing for Medina, who sat silently in the courtroom wearing a red jail jumpsuit and a full, dark beard. He has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder with a firearm.
Circuit Judge Yvonne Colodny denied Medina's request for bail, ruling that there was sufficient evidence to keep him jailed until trial. Murder suspects in Florida typically don't qualify for bail, but there are exceptions.
Medina told police in the statement that he posted photos of his dead wife on Facebook to notify family members about what had happened. He claimed that he killed her in self-defense after she threatened him with a knife, following many previous abusive episodes.
Medina's attorney, Saam Zanganeh, brought up several pieces of evidence indicating that Alonso could have been the aggressor in their fight. Her diary, which she titled "The Diary of the Insane Women," had several violence-laced entries, including one in which she said she thought about ripping Medina's eyes out because he looked at other women.
"The diary chronicles her thoughts and buttresses our position that she had violent thoughts against Mr. Medina," Zanganeh said.
In a closing argument, Zanganeh said both Florida's "stand your ground" self-defense law and the Castle Doctrine, which permits force to be met with force inside a person's home, could apply in Medina's case.
"She's the aggressor," Zanganeh said. "''Her level of anger and distress and stewing in her own venom, it didn't get better, it got worse."
Grossman testified under cross-examination that police had no previous domestic violence reports from the home. But he also said Medina had trained briefly at a mixed martial arts center and had boxed with the center's veteran instructor after challenging him.
Assistant State Attorney J. Scott Dunn asked the detective whether, with Medina's apparent fighting abilities, it seemed plausible that he feared violence from his wife enough to fatally shoot her in self-defense.
"That's what he indicated. According to his statement, she was punching him," Grossman replied.
Dunn said self-defense should not apply because Medina went back upstairs to get his gun and returned to the kitchen to fatally shoot his wife, firing eight shots.
"Mr. Medina executed his wife because she said she was going to leave him," Dunn said. "He did what he said he was going to do. This was murder. It was not self-defense."
Follow Curt Anderson on Twitter: http://twitter.com/Miamicurt