Zombicon shooting suspect faces judge

Writer: Derrick Shaw
Published: Updated:
Mugshot of Jose Raul Bonilla, 24 (Credit: Lee County Sheriff's Office)
Mugshot of Jose Raul Bonilla, 24 (Credit: Lee County Sheriff’s Office)

A man arrested in connection with the deadly 2015 Zombicon shooting appeared in court Tuesday afternoon.

Jose Raul Bonilla, 23, of Immokalee, faces charges of second-degree murder, five counts of aggravated battery and destroying or tampering with evidence, according to a Lee County Sheriff’s Office arrest sheet. Bail has not yet been set.

Bonilla had been arrested multiple times after the shooting on separate charges of resisting arrest, child abuse and trespassing.

But Criminology Professor at Florida Gulf Coast University Mike Chinopolous said “You can’t use one crime as a pretext to hold him for another.”

Police said they had their suspicions about Bonilla but it takes a lot more than that to arrest someone for murder.

“It’s a balancing test of if this man is dangerous, he needs to be taken off the streets as soon as possible yet we don’t want to take him off the streets and have to permanently return him as a forever danger,” Chinopolous said.

Chinopolous believes the two-year wait was not for nothing.

“I’d be willing to bet that was all part of a strategy to get the information they needed and build a case that would actually stick,” Chinopolous said.

Bonilla’s court appearance took place at 1:30 p.m. at the Lee County Clerk of Courts on 1700 Monroe St.

Timeline of events:

October 17, 2015 at 11:44 p.m. – Shots fired at Zombicon leaving one person dead and five others injured.

October 19, 2015 – City leaders meet to discuss security and how to make events safer.

October 21, 2015 – Family of victim Kyle Roberts hires attorney.

October 26, 2015 – Reward for information on ZombiCon shooting increases to $35K.

November 3, 2015 – Expavious Tyrell Taylor’s grandmother filed the $5M wrongful death lawsuit.

November 5, 2015 – FMPD releases new image captured seconds before ZombiCon shooting.

November 8, 2015 – Vigil held for victims at First United Methodist Church.

November 12, 2015 – FMPD releases additional surveillance pictures in ZombiCon shooting.

December – Security cameras installed across downtown Fort Myers.

December 7, 2015 – City of Fort Myers cut ties with ZombiCon.

September 25, 2016 – ZombiCon 2016 canceled after permit scramble, legal trouble.

October 17, 2016 – No one arrested a year after deadly Zombicon shooting.

October 19, 2016 – Zombicon victim to sue City of Fort Myers.

October 24, 2016 – Second Zombicon victim to sue City of Fort Myers.

January 17, 2017 – Fort Myers council OKs $7,500 payouts to Zombicon victims.

September 19, 2017 – Fort Myers OKs $40K settlement of Zombicon wrongful death suit.

October 17, 2017 – Still no arrests 2 years after Zombicon shooting.

February 26, 2018 – Arrest made in 2015 Zombicon shooting, suspect faces 2nd-degree murder charge

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