A South Miami man who published ebooks professing to offer tips on healthy marriages and happy families was in custody last night after allegedly shooting his wife to death and then posting a confession as well as a graphic picture of the victim’s blood-spattered corpse on his Facebook page.
The posting by 31-year-old Derek Medina remained online for as long as five hours before it was removed by Facebook. In it he said he had just killed his wife, Jennifer Alonso, 26, saying: “You will see me in the news.” His page quickly filled with comments from both friends and strangers expressing both disbelief and horror.
Police said that after the shooting, Mr Medina omitted to call emergency services but drove to the nearby home of his father who took him directly to the local police station where he confessed. He has since been charged with first degree murder. At his home police found the body and also the couple’s 10-year-old daughter, who was unharmed.
The online picture showed his wife lying on her back on what is apparently a kitchen floor with her legs bent awkwardly and blood on some parts of the body. Most US media organisations chose not to publish it or to blur parts of it out. Beside the picture, which was shared widely on the internet by Facebook users until the company took it down, was the caption, ‘RIP Jennifer Alonso’.
In his posting, Mr Medina then wrote: “Im going to prison or death sentence for killing my wife love you guys miss you guys takecare Facebook people you will see me in the news. My wife was punching me and I am not going to stand anymore with the abuse so I did what I did I hope u understand me.”
It was unclear why Mr Medina’s page remained up for so long. In a statement Facebook said: “The content was reported to us. We took action on the profile – removing the content and disabling the profile, and we reached out to law enforcement. We take action on all content that violates our terms, which are clearly laid out on our site.”
Available for all to see online after the Thursday morning killing was not just the first confession by Mr Medina but also the confused and terrified reaction of those who were first to find and read it. “That is my friend there,” said a first comment on the page. Others asked, “What happened????” and “WHAT??????”
The couple had remarried last year after their first three-year marriage had ended in divorce. Among Mr Medina’s ebooks one is entitled ‘How I Saved Someone's Life and Marriage and Family Problems Thru Communication.’ The blurb for the book on his website, emotionalwriter.com, which remained up yesterday, says that the author sets out to provide “marriage counseling tips and emphasizes the importance of communication with family member”.
Mr Medina told police that he opened fire on his wife after she had first threatened him with a kitchen knife and had then begun throwing punches at him.
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