MIAMI (CBSMiami) — The Miami State Attorney’s Office confirmed to CBS4 Tuesday that it will not seek the death penalty against a South Miami man accused of killing his wife and then posting pictures of her body on Facebook.
Derek Medina, 31, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in the August 2013 killing of Jennifer Alfonso. Medina’s attorneys claim he acted in self-defense.
Medina’s defense team has claimed that Alfonso may have been under the influence of synthetic drugs like bath salts the day she was killed.
According to court documents, Alfonso hid bath salt pills in a jar labelled as garlic supplements.
“The defense’s independent lab confirmed that the capsules are Alpha PVP, commonly known as synthetic ecstasy,” according to the defense motion.
Experts said bath salts can cause agitation, anxiety, anger, paranoia, or panic, just to name a few side effects. In this case, Medina said his wife was hitting him and surveillance video from inside their home shows her hitting him.
Medina’s attorneys are calling for additional testing to see if illegal drugs, specifically bath salts, were in the victim’s system.
Defense attorneys also say there is a surveillance picture of Alfonso going into the medicine cabinet in the kitchen where the bottle and pills were on the night of the murder. Medina’s defense teams hope this will be enough new information to prompt the judge to allow for a fresh look.
Police have testified that Medina told friends he would kill Alfonso if she ever cheated or threatened to leave. Medina told police she had threatened to leave him that day.
Medina is being held without bail pending trial