Denise Calvo: Murder Suspect

Tales of illicit affairs, heavy drug use, prostitutes, a strained marriage -- no wonder police are suspicious

"I think I understand," Ford replied.

"Yeah, you understand where I'm coming from," Williams added.

Williams told the detectives the last time he had seen Denise was in the parking lot of the Walgreens at NW 37th Avenue and South Dixie Highway, about a month before the murder. "She say, 'Hello.' She gave me a kiss on the cheek and asked where I been, and things like that. And asked me how she can get in touch with me. I told her she can just swing by Walgreens. And then she was on her way."

Suspect Anthony Craig Lee (seated) observes Denise 
Calvo at the witness stand: Were they partners in 
crime?
The Miami Herald
Suspect Anthony Craig Lee (seated) observes Denise Calvo at the witness stand: Were they partners in crime?

Do you know Teresa Cosentino?

Detectives Ford and Castillo began questioning 40-year-old Teresa Torres Cosentino just before midnight on September 27. Cosentino, who resides in the Coral Lake area just west of Coral Gables, told the cops she had twice previously lived at the Lee residence and considers Verneka a "best friend." She said she'd taken care of Anthony Lee's children at times over the years. According to Cosentino, Denise visited Verneka "every day" and had often given clothes to kids in the black Grove. Verneka was going through a "very, very, very rough" time after Anthony's release from prison in May 2003 because he had taken over most of the household's crack-dealing business and wasn't sharing the proceeds with his mother, Cosentino explained. Marquese Williams and his friend Jimmy Kimbrough had handled deliveries for Verneka but were now working for Anthony, she added, and many of those "drop-offs" were made to the Calvo residence. As a result of Verneka's cash-flow problems, Denise began paying her rent and other bills. "That's how close they been for the last six months," Cosentino noted.

Cosentino told police she'd met Denise seven or eight years ago and the two had spoken "every day." After the murder, Denise asked her not to tell police about their friendship, a request that angered Cosentino. Still she described Denise as a "very nice person" and said the two often visited each other and smoked together.

"What is it that you guys smoke together?" Detective Ford asked.

"Crack cocaine," Cosentino replied.

Cosentino told the cops Denise "never had trouble paying for the crack" but that she didn't know if Denise owed Verneka or Anthony money for drugs. She said Williams and Kimbrough made cocaine deliveries to the Calvo residence "on a daily basis," adding: "The orders were big."

Denise Calvo earlier had told police she bought only powder cocaine from the Lees, not crack. She claimed to have smoked crack only once.

Were you angry at your husband for having an affair with a woman named Bonny? Were you angry about the fact that your husband had a habit of going into Coconut Grove and seeking prostitutes? Did you and your husband engage in sex acts with threesomes?

Cosentino said she never saw Denise and Anthony Lee together, but she did have some startling information about José Calvo.

"He get prostitutes off the street," she asserted.

"How often?" Ford asked.

"Very often, from what I understand," said Cosentino.

Cosentino added that she once saw José Calvo, Marquese Williams, and a girl "hanging around behind Walgreens."

"What was it that Mr. Calvo was doing with the prostitute?" the detective wondered.

"Blow jobs," she replied.

Cosentino said she learned that Calvo had also engaged in "three-ways" with Denise. "That was [with] the higher-class prostitute.... My girlfriend was one of the first ones to go with him. She'd been offered a thousand dollars to go and have sex with him. And she wasn't even a prostitute. But she took the money.... Marquese was the guy that got most of the girls for him ... over at the Walgreens parking lot." Cosentino had also heard that "Marquese and [Denise were] apparently fooling around. It's gross to me that she's been that way. She's promiscuous."

In his statement to police, Marquese Williams said he had met José Calvo about a year earlier when the former auto dealer showed up at the Walgreens parking lot looking for somebody.

"You remember who he was looking for?" Ford asked.

"Yeah, it was this girl. He was looking for this girl," answered Williams.

"Was José and this girl involved?" Ford continued.

"I am not sure. But he was looking for her," Williams said.

"Who was the girl?" the detective pressed.

"Girl named Bonny," Williams replied.

"You know what Bonny does for a living?" said Ford.

"Prostituting, yeah," affirmed Williams.

In her September 27 statement to police, Verneka Lee said Bonny had "bragged" about how nice José Calvo treated her. "How he buy her what she want, give her money, and take care of her, you know?"

Cosentino had another hint for the detectives that Barrar and Rubin will be certain to seize upon when Lee's trial begins, possibly this fall. After the murder, Verneka had told her about a plan Anthony and Denise had worked out involving the theft of a diamond ring, apparently belonging to José Calvo. Verneka told her: "The deal was going wrong and she tried to shoot him instead," Cosentino recounted. Cosentino also thought it was significant to mention that Denise and her husband argued a lot. "They're always pissed off at each other," she told detectives.

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