MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Results of a toxicology report have delivered a blow to the defense strategy of a South Miami man accused of killing his wife and 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 because Alfonso may have been under the influence of synthetic drugs like bath salts the day she was killed.
In January, Medina’s lawyers asked prosecutors to test Alfonso’s body for the presence of synthetic drugs. According to court documents, Alfonso hid bath salt pills in a jar labelled as garlic supplements.
The toxicology report from the Miami-Dade Medical Examiner’s Office, however, found no Alpha-PVP, the substance found in the pills, in Alfonso’s her blood or urine. Earlier toxicology tests also showed no other behavior-altering narcotics in her system.
“Our expert will review the state’s report along with conducting an analysis from our own expert,” said defense attorney Rick Yabor in a statement.
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 backs him up.
The defense also reportedly has 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.
Investigators said 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.
The Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office has said they will not seek the death penalty in this case.
Medina is being held without bail pending trial. A tentative trial date has been set for October 14th, 2014.