LAWRENCE — Ismael Calixto could not have murdered Richard “Chi-Chi” Bonilla because he was home playing a video game early Sunday morning when the 18-year-old Lowell man was shot on a Broadway sidewalk, his defense attorney said yesterday.
“He absolutely denies he was there,” Attorney Raymond Buso said in court yesterday at Calixto’s murder arraignment.
Friends and relatives of Bonilla lined numerous rows of the courtroom gallery, many sobbing and hugging one another throughout the brief court proceeding.
Bonilla died Sunday afternoon after he was airlifted to a Boston hospital. A medical examiner determined his cause of death was a gunshot would to the head, with injuries to his skull and brain, according to a state police report.
Police suspect Bonilla’s murder, the second in Lawrence this year, is gang-related.
Security in the courtroom was tightened for Calixto’s brief court appearance early yesterday afternoon.
Extra court officers and four uniformed Lawrence police officers were brought into the courtroom. Several state troopers also sat in the gallery as Calixto, 18, of 32 Willow St., Lawrence was arraigned and held without bail. He was charged with murder, illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition and discharging a firearm within city limits.
At 1 a.m. Sunday, Bonilla was shot in the head after an argument at an 11 Broadway Ave. party, according to a report filed by State Police Detective Anthony Schena. Several people were denied access to the party, triggering a fight.
“The fight consisted of several persons, including Richard Bonilla, and moved into the parking lot of the AutoZone store across from 11 Broadway Ave. During the fight, several shots rang out,” Schena wrote.
People tried to flee the area and as they did “more shots rang out,” Schena wrote in his report.
An unidentified eyewitness told police the shooter was Calixto, who was wearing a baseball hat with the words “Magic” in blue letters across the front, and Timberland type boots, Schena wrote.