LAWRENCE - Rafael Martinez, 19, of Lowell, pleaded not guilty today in Lawrence District Court to murder for the July 24, 2010 shooting death of Timothy Walker, 20, of Lawrence.

Judge Kevin Gaffney ordered Martinez held without bail and continued the case until June 29 for a probable cause hearing. Martinez also pleaded not guilty to charges of illegal possession of a firearm and illegal possession of ammunition.

Shortly after 9:30 on the night of the murder, Martinez allegedly approached Walker, who was sitting on his front porch at 375 Lowell St. with some friends, and shot him in the head with a shotgun. He then fled the scene in a Nissan Murano which was being driven by another person.

Walker was transported to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston where he died the next day. The motive for the murder remains under investigation, but it is believed that Walker was the intended target. Walker's organs were donated by his family upon his death.

The ongoing investigation is being conducted by Lawrence Police detectives and Massachusetts State Police detectives assigned to the Office of Essex District Attorney Jonathan W. Blodgett.

The case will be prosecuted by Essex Assistant District Attorney James Gubitose. Martinez is represented by Attorney Michael Phelan.

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