Denise Calvo: Murder Suspect

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"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.

Is it true that your husband threatened to kill someone who you claim robbed you?

Marquese Williams told police that in May 2003 Denise was mugged while in her car on a nighttime visit to the black Grove to buy crack. "Some guys came up to the car and pulled her out and tried to rob her," Williams said. "And she jumped back into the car and she ran over one of the guy's bicycle."

Verneka Lee provided the detectives with more details about that incident. Previously, she said, Williams had interacted with Denise and José separately and had not known they were married until an enraged José arrived shortly after the mugging. "I seen her husband walking up," Verneka recounted. "Me and Marquese [Williams] were out there together. [José] was very upset because he said, 'Somebody just robbed my wife and beat her up.' He was coming to retaliate. And that's when Marquese realized that Denise and José were husband and wife."

Denise herself learned something new that night, according to Verneka. "I told her that her husband and Marquese had been going around looking for hookers for her husband," Verneka noted. "She was like in disbelief." Verneka also told police that Williams was Denise's preferred cocaine courier and that she suspected the two were having sex regularly.

When Barrar finished his litany of questions, Denise Calvo left the courtroom, accompanied by her lawyer Michael Rosen. They were joined by her father Michael Angelo Caligiuri, whom federal authorities once labeled an "armed and dangerous" member of the Gambino organized crime family. (He was released from prison in 2002 after serving about five years for racketeering and possession of cocaine with intent to distribute.) Mr. Caligiuri wandered off, leaving Calvo and Rosen to march down the hallway toward a horde of television reporters and cameras. Neither she nor her lawyer had anything to say.

Earlier in the bond hearing, Barrar had questioned Det. Ervens Ford, and in the process revealed another important line of inquiry they will likely pursue at trial.

You do not know what gun was used to kill the deceased?

Ford replied: "The answer to that is: correct."

That bullet could have come from Denise Calvo's gun?

"Objection!" shouted prosecutor Gail Levine, arguing that the question called for speculation.

"Sustained," replied the judge.

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Kirk Nielsen
Contact: Kirk Nielsen