U.S. Markets closed

Autopsy in Florida Facebook murder shows point-blank shots

MIAMI, Oct 11 (Reuters) - A Florida man who confessed to fatally shooting his wife and posted pictures of her bloodied corpse on Facebook may have shot her several times at point-blank range, a medical examiner's report showed on Friday.

The autopsy report is expected to be a key piece of evidence in the self-defense claim by Derek Medina, who told police he shot his 27-year-old wife, Jennifer Alfonso, multiple times after a verbal dispute turned violent and she began kicking and punching him with a closed fist.

Medina, 31, gained notoriety in August when he announced to his "friends" on Facebook Inc that he killed Alfonso.

In a posting, he wrote, "I'm going to prison or death sentence for killing my wife. Love you guys, Miss you guys .... My wife was punching me, and I am not going to stand any more with the abuse so I did what I did. I hope u understand me."

The autopsy results, first reported by the Miami Herald, said Alfonso suffered gunshot wounds to her left forearm, indicating she was trying to protect herself.

Examiners also said bullets entered Alfonso's body at a downward angle and that gunpowder residue was found on her arms, neck and chin indicating that the woman was shot at point-blank range.

Medical examiners removed seven bullets and two bullet fragments from her body, the report said.

In September, prosecutors released video of an altercation between Medina and Alfonso at their suburban Miami home.

Though the pair are sometimes out of sight, Medina walks away from the kitchen where the two were arguing and returns with a pistol, firing several shots followed by a swirl of gunpowder in the camera's lens.

Medina has been held without bond since early August and pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder. A grand jury could hand down a first-degree murder indictment, punishable by life in prison, in the coming weeks.