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Reading Commons Home Invasion Trio Pleads Guilty, Will Avoid Jail Time

The three remaining suspects in last February's home invasion at Reading Commons pled guilty in Woburn Superior Court this afternoon and, despite the Commonwealth's recommendation, will avoid jail time.

Information issued in a press release from the office of Middlesex County District Attorney Gerry Leone was used in this report. 

WOBURN—The three remaining suspects in last February’s home invasion pled guilty to multiple charges in Woburn Superior Court this afternoon, and, as a result, will receive no jail time.

Jason Molle, 21, of Stoneham, Garret Collins, 22, and Matthew Stratton, 20, both from Reading, pled guilty to charges of home invasion, armed robbery, conspiracy, two counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and assault and battery and were sentenced to a total of five years in the Middlesex County House of Corrections, suspended for 30 months, and five years of probation, to run concurrent with the suspended jail sentences, according to the district attorney’s office.

“These defendants have now admitted to attacking and threatening the victim with a firearm inside the victim’s home before robbing him of a significant amount of money and fleeing the scene. These serious, violent actions remain extremely troubling to law enforcement and the Reading community and, due to their severity, we are disappointed that the Court did not see fit to incarcerate the defendants,” District Attorney Leone said in a press release. “I commend the work of the Reading Police Department whose investigation lead to the swift arrest and identification of the defendants and who continue to work tirelessly to keep their community safe.”

The Commonwealth initially sought a sentence of five to seven years in jail, to be followed by five years probation, but Middlesex County Superior Court Judge Gary Inge sentenced the defendants to 2 1/2 years for assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, and 2 1/2 years on and after for the assault charge. The men received five years probation, to run concurrently, for the other offenses.

The conditions of the probation are as follows: The defendants are ordered to stay away and have no contact with the victim or his family, ordered to remain drug free and subject to random drug screens, ordered to maintain employment or school, ordered to complete 125 hours of community service which must be completed in an education setting or teaching young people about the dangers of drug use, ordered to pay $800 in restitution to the victim, ordered to undergo any mental health or drug treatment as deemed appropriate by a mental health professional or drug evaluation, and ordered to sign any waivers or releases required by probation in order to enforce conditions.  

A fourth defendant, Quinlan Junta, son of “” Thomas Junta,  on Oct. 23 from undisclosed causes. 

According to Fox News, a lawyer for one of the defendants claimed Junta was the ringleader in the crime.

On Reading Police responded to an apartment on Archstone Circle for reports of a home invasion. Upon arrival, the police located the victim, a 19-year-old male, who had sustained an obvious facial injury. The victim told police that Junta and Molle entered his home and displayed a firearm. The defendants then proceeded to assault the victim and before fleeing the scene in a vehicle.

The experience, understandably, left the victim shaken, and he told police that, following the incident, he waited a short period of time before going to the window and observing Junta and Molle leaving in a vehicle.

Molle was apprehended alone in the getaway vehicle a short time later at Summer Avenue and King Street in Reading.

Authorities immediately began an investigation into the whereabouts of Junta and obtained search warrants for Junta’s home in Reading. An arrest warrant was issued on Feb. 8 for Junta.

Junta turned himself in at the Reading Police Department on Feb. 8, and he and Molle were arraigned in Woburn District Court that afternoon, where District Court Judge Timothy Gailey ordered the pair held without bail pending a dangerousness hearing. Collins and Stratton were at the victim’s home and left minutes before Molle and Junta entered the home. Collins and Stratton sent text messages to Molle and Junta detailing how they could gain entry into the home and instructed them to search the victims pockets and bag for money.

The defendants were on March 10, 2011. They were arraigned in Middlesex Superior Court in Woburn on May 17, where Middlesex Superior Court Clerk Magistrate Michael Sullivan ordered Molle held on $5,000 cash bail with the conditions that if he post bail he was ordered to remain on a GPS bracelet, stay away from all victims and witnesses in the case, must not commit any new crimes, refrain from the use of drugs and alcohol, maintain employment and maintain school. Collins was ordered held on $5,000 cash bail with the same conditions, excluding a GPS bracelet, as well as the additional condition that he must remain in a treatment program. Stratton was ordered held on $1,000 cash bail with the same conditions excluding a GPS bracelet.

Sean Collins February 13, 2012 at 02:43 PM
Which I am sure has some truth to it, but when you have kids on drugs or dealing drugs, we are not talking about choir boys. Now this is my opinion and my opinion only, but if Jackie Burke was told your son robbed him, and if your son was not involved in drugs at all, Burke would have dismissed the so called lie. The fact is the "lie" was so believable that Burke felt like he needed to murder him. And believe me Burke should rot in hell. for murdering your son. Just like my brother Garrett deserves everything he gets for robbing that kid in the commons. As I said before, and I am sure you do not agree with me, but every parent has failed in this case, including mine. Did I use the name Doug Atoms, of course I did, out of fear that you would come after my family, just like you came down the Burbank Rink looking for my other brother after he posted something on facebook. Expose me, go right ahead, but we all can be exposed including yourself. But atleast I can look in the mirror and honestly say my brother is a drug user and to this point an overall bad kid, but dont sit here and try to claim that Joe was this special kid who did nothing wrong. Just like the patch and the rest of the papers reported your son and Burke were exchanging text messages about buying pills right out your front door. The police found your sons killer and he will be brought to justice, now just worry about your family and let all the other disfunctional families live in peace.
Sean Collins February 13, 2012 at 02:44 PM
As a father now my job is to make sure my son stays off the drugs and lives a positive life, and if he strays from that, I will consider myself a failure as a parent! But, like I said these are my opinions and my opinions only. So long patch!
Paul Ronan February 13, 2012 at 05:37 PM
Sean ,you are correct, these young people have made there own decisions,Beth and I have been married 31 years and brought up two wonderful dhildren, Were they angels, no, were they great kids, yes! You and Brian attcked us as parents, enablers, clueless,hazy from too much alcohol.Ihave never attacked any parents for their kids wrongful doing ,We are not and never be failers as parents, love and guidance is parenting, had i known , or someone l;ike yourself had come forward i certainly would have intervened.here is the point you miss, someone lied to Burke about the robbery at his dwelling, Joe was murdered because of that lie and for no other reason. please put yourself in our position. I will never give up till the robbers are ID'ED OR liars are outed regards, Paul
Jackie Ronan February 13, 2012 at 06:03 PM
Sean, You do not know my parents, so please do not judge them or post inaccurate accusations. They were the best parents a child good possibly ask for…they did not once enable my brother. My parents are loving, hardworking, educated people who did the best they could in raising both my brother and I and they did a pretty damn good job. Joe, made a decision to join the marines, and was leaving for boot camp on 9/12. I’d say he was moving towards the right path with much encouragement from my entire family. However, some people lied to save their own and they along with Jack Burke will pay in the end. The lie is the reason and root cause for Joe’s murder. And we will all fight for the justice Joe deserves.
Jackie Ronan February 13, 2012 at 06:07 PM
You are wrong when you say my father went down to Burbank after your brother, Brian, disrespectfully wrote that terrible poem. He did not go down there; my family and father have more class than that. Like yourself, Joe cut off ties with Garrett years ago b/c of Garrett’s lifestyle. I’m not going to list out the things I know Garrett has done, but I know for a fact that he has negatively impacted many people from our town. How he has gotten away with it? – I have lots of theories but I’m not going to share them here. We did not once say Joe was an angel. Joe did have a good heart, was a genuine person and the outreach we have received and the stories we’ve been told are a testament to how loved he was. “Throw salt on wounds” – I think you and your brother have already done that with your previous comments as well as your cold hearted comment that my brother was lying 6 feet under. May your family and friends never have to experience what our family and friends have gone through. -Jackie
CLL February 13, 2012 at 08:06 PM
I am a Reading resident in my early 30s who graduated from RMHS in the mid to late 90s. I got good grades, was involved in athletics and held an after school and summer job. My parents were raised in the town, and I too have decided to raise my family there as well. I’ve watched all of these tragic events occur in the last several years, not just with the last year and a half but also the horrible tragedies of some of my high school classmates dying too young. Unfortunately, because the most recent events have involved a kid with an infamous last name, I believe that a lot of what has happened has been much more public then if it was someone named John Smith. I want to start off by saying that I was deeply saddened by the death of Joe Ronan. I did not know him, but I heard he was a very respectful and nice young man, and as a parent and a long time Reading resident, I am terribly sorry for what his family has to go through. I did know Quinlan Junta and Garrett Collins, and I am also deeply saddened by Quinlan’s death and Garrett’s troubles.
CLL February 13, 2012 at 08:08 PM
After reading all of the comments, and getting upset about them for a long time, I’ve finally decided to respond. When I was in high school, there were drugs around, although I don’t know if the problems are worse today than they were 15 or so years ago. However, it’s absolutely not appropriate for people to blame either the Reading Athletic Director or the hockey program, as I’ve read time and time again. There were kids that overdosed that I went to high school with, and none of them played hockey, but most of them played other sports at various times. Based on my past experiences, and my current observations, the Athletic Director and the hockey coaches care deeply about the kids, and want nothing more than to have as many kids in the programs as possible to try to mitigate these issues and provide the kids with activities to fill their time. I believe the same can be said for the entire RMHS athletic program and community. I mean absolutely no disrespect to the Ronan family, but I also believe that parents need to look themselves in the mirror and have an honest conversation with themselves. I was around many kids whose parents turned a blind eye to what their kids were doing. Luckily for those kids, they were able to turn their lives around and did not have the troubles that these other individuals are having.
CLL February 13, 2012 at 08:13 PM
Again, I do not know the Ronan family and I can only take their word in that their parents were loving and did everything they could for their children. I know that there can absolutely be parents who do almost anything for their kids but the kids still make bad decisions. As a community, I think we need to rally around these tragedies and provide ALL of the families involved with the support that they need – whether it’s the Collins, Juntas, Ronans, and others. We need to address the hard issues that we have in front of us, figure out how to move forward from the past, and how to teach all of our children to learn a lesson from all of these individuals actions. Pointing fingers and placing blame is not helping anyone, nor is publicizing Garrett Collins court date. I don’t know what there is to gain by doing so. Garrett is obviously a troubled young man, and I can only assume that he is going through a lot in losing one of his best friends. I believe that he should have to be punished for his actions, however I also believe that he should have support to try to change his life for the better.
CLL February 13, 2012 at 08:13 PM
I also believe that everyone needs to take a few minutes and remember that all of these individuals have family and friends that are devastated by the events that have occurred. People need to have more respect and allow the families to either grieve in peace without having to read negative comments about their children/brothers/nephews/etc or to give the families space to try to help the children turn their lives around. The fact is that all of these kids were great kids at heart, and unfortunately a disease has overtaken their lives. Sadly, two lives are already gone, but hopefully the others can be saved.
Christine February 14, 2012 at 01:22 AM
This community is cursed! I will not raise my family here!
Christine February 14, 2012 at 11:47 PM
The Curse of the Reading Four!
SMS February 14, 2012 at 11:47 PM
I dont know what community you are going to go to that doesnt have issues. But goodbye and good luck.
Julia February 14, 2012 at 11:52 PM
I really hope this last comment was just supposed to be a joke, and the humor simply failed to translate over the internet. Luckily for you, no one is forcing you to live in Reading. Unluckily for you, Reading is not so different from any other suburban town you could move to.
Julia February 15, 2012 at 12:02 AM
I want to thank you, Andrew, for deleting those comments. I completely agree with your decision. Discussions are fueled by logical arguments; arguments are grounded in fact and not opinion. Removing your opinions from an essay or persuasive argument is something every child is taught; at least this has been my experience in the Reading school system. Comments that are inflammatory for the sake of being inflammatory have no place or value on a discussion board based in journalism, and especially not about so sensitive a topic.
peter lucci February 15, 2012 at 12:41 AM
"Christine 3:02 pm on Wednesday, August 31, 2011 Peter....Reading has more mainstream kids involved in the drug culture than similarly situated communities. That is an opinion. But it is my choice to raise my kids elsewhere to keep them safe and away from that culture. Take a look at the "HIDTA" The high intensity drug trafficking areas..... http://www.justice.gov/ndic/pubs40/40392/40392p.pdf Do you think it is an unreasonable to suggest a full time drug unit? I did not come up with that slogan. I wanted like to move back to Reading six years ago so my kids could go to school here and play hockey. My wife begged me not to. I am glad she put her foot down. She was right. God only knows what would have happened!" Christine you are such a fraud. I didn't realize that you were in a same sex marriage.
SAL February 15, 2012 at 04:36 PM
FYI to those who may not know, Sean Collins is currently an assistant varsity coach and JV coach for the RMHS boys hockey team. He has had three posts (using the name Doug Atoms before identifying himself) removed by the Patch editor for inappropriate language. He also seems bent on attacking the Ronan family in a public forum at a time when they are most vulnerable. This indicates to me that he lacks a certain level of maturity, empathy, and professionalism required of any teacher or coach. I really wonder if Mr Collins is the right person for the job of mentoring and serving as a role model to 14-18 year old boys regardless of his hockey pedigree. It would seem to me that in light of the recent issues that have enveloped the hockey program it might be time to look for a more mature and reputable individual to coach and guide these boys at a crucial time in their development into men.
Nikki February 15, 2012 at 05:09 PM
For those of you thinking of moving out of Reading, Lynnfield Patch has a chart rating violent crimes in Essex County towns. I'd be interested in seeing something similar for our Middlesex County area.
Nikki February 15, 2012 at 05:13 PM
Oops...I see it on North Reading Patch.
Jason Fields February 15, 2012 at 06:36 PM
Sal- I applaud Sean for his maturity in coming out with his stand, stating the truth and using it as a cautionary tale. I want guys like Sean teaching my kid about "accountability" on the ice and in life, making the right decisions and not blaming others for your own foibles. Hooray for you Sean, others can learn from your honesty and approach to life and I would welcome your guidance of my kids any day. The "inappropriate" language were words like "clueless" which is why ultra-pc Editor deleted the posts.
Andrew Jeromski February 15, 2012 at 06:45 PM
Hi, this is your friendly "ultra-pc" editor here. In point of fact, words like "clueless" had nothing to do with why certain posts were deleted. Zero. It's really simple: Things were said, regarding someone who is, sadly, no longer around to defend himself that were rooted in allegations rather than accepted fact. In fact, inappropriate language had zero to do with it. But hey, why let the facts get in the way of a good rant?
Patty February 15, 2012 at 07:30 PM
@Andrew. I had hoped that the focus of these posts would be on education about drug addiction, rather than on the families who are involved. "right-turn.org". is a great website for those who wish to concentrate on "recovery", rather than "blame". I encourage people to visit the site.
SAL February 15, 2012 at 07:45 PM
Andrew, you are mincing words here. "Inappropriate" or "unfair" or "unwarranted" does not really matter - my point still holds. It was inappropriate material for this board and you deleted it for that reason.
Andrew Jeromski February 15, 2012 at 07:46 PM
@Sal ... Sorry for not being more specific ... My comment was directed towards @Jason Fields, who insinuated that I removed comments for words like "clueless," which is completely preposterous. You are absolutely right, and I take no issue with your comments. Sorry for the misunderstanding.
HM February 15, 2012 at 07:47 PM
It sounds to me that there are two families here that have been deeply hurt by the association that two of the kids had with each other and with drugs. If I am not mistaken, I believe that Mr Ronan fired the first Salvo in these comments by posting Garrett Collins court date. What I get from both of these families comments is a sense of loss. Sure, Garrett Collins isn't dead, but he is lost to his brother. You have to see that they are in pain, and take the comments for what they are. I think it may be a good thing. Sean Collins would definitely know it if he saw kids on the team on drugs. Given his experience with how drugs have destroyed his brother, I think that he would do something about it too instead of looking the other way.
Nikki February 15, 2012 at 08:47 PM
Could someone please clarify something for me? Is Archstone/Reading Commons the place on West St. across from South St? Then, what is the complex called that is up in the NW part of Reading that you can see from Rt. 93? I thought that was the place that was always having problems.
peter lucci February 15, 2012 at 09:00 PM
Those apartments are actually located in Woburn, but you have to travel through Reading or Wilmington in order to access them. They are called Inwood West.
AnonLikeU February 15, 2012 at 09:01 PM
Nikki, yes, Archstone, now called Reading Commons, is exactly where you think it is. The complex you might be thinking of further up is Johnson Woods, a (very expensive) condo community. I don't think JW has very many problems. Maybe there's another complex up there that you are thinking of, I'm not sure though.
Dan February 15, 2012 at 09:07 PM
there's also a place called avalon on the other side of west st (towards wilmington)
Nikki February 15, 2012 at 09:23 PM
Thank you Donna, Dan and Peter. I will have to take a drive up there for a look-see even though all these complexes that have sprung up in Reading are unpleasant to see.
stones February 16, 2012 at 03:06 PM
Let me tell you all this right now, coming from a kid who recently had the honor in being a reading high captain, Sean Collins not only is a very respectable person, but could be the best thing that happened to the reading high program. I was one of the captains his first year as a coach, and he helped Mark Doherty tremendously. We did not have the best team in the world, but he helped us be 10 times better. he helped us grow as a team, and as men. there is no doubt in my mind that he is 100% capable of being the head coach one day because of his inteligence of the game AND HOW MUCH HE ACTUALLY CARES ABOUT THE KIDS. I had the honor in knowing sean for a very long time and he is nothing but a positive influence on every kid no matter what is said on this site. I am not even going to start on the 5 kids that have been so horribly spoken about because they deserve much better than are being represented. they made a mistake and should be given the chance to overcome it rather than rot in jail as some of you would say. may joey and quins souls rest in peace we miss and love you

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