Prosecutor: Ronan Murder Motivated by Revenge

Prosecutors believe the suspect linked Quinlan Junta, then Joseph Ronan with an earlier crime against him.

The Reading Memorial High School alumnus charged with was allegedly motivated by revenge, according to prosecutors.

Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth Dunigan told Woburn Superior Court Monday that John Burke had been robbed in his Revere apartment in April and came to believe that had committed, arranged or been involved the crime.

He was so convinced that Junta had been behind the crime, Dunigan said, that ”the night before the homicide in this case… he appeared to be following Quinlan Junta.”

Some time in the next 24 hours, though, she said, he apparently became convinced that Ronan had been involved.

The following day, she said, it appears that Burke traveled to Ronan’s home under the guise of purchasing Percocet and fired the three shots that killed the .

She told the court that the investigation found the shots had struck Ronan once in the back of the head, once in the back of the neck and once in the left side of the chest.

The investigation also found latex gloves which tested positive for gunshot residue in the vehicle that Burke had been using, Dunigan said.

Following her presentation, the court granted Dunigan’s request that Burke be held without bail while awaiting trial.

Tim Flaherty, Burke’s attorney, argued that Burke was not a flight risk as he had strong connections to the Reading area, but the court was not swayed.

Burke will next visit the court on Dec. 12 for a pretrial conference.

Reading girl November 26, 2011 at 12:54 PM
By the above comments it appears that many ppl know the victim, the "alleged" shooter & the reason why this happened . All I can say is I hope everyone is sharing this information with the police.
Meza December 02, 2011 at 06:10 AM
Man. People need to wake up. Maybe the kid didn't deserve to die but if you believe ronan wasnt involved in anything crooked you have to believe burke didn't do it. And ronan didn't serve in the military burke did...
Ramos December 02, 2011 at 06:20 PM
Good point MEZA!
Concerned December 05, 2011 at 01:09 PM
Touché meza. I'm not stating that what happened should have at all. But if you can believe that joe wasnt involved, couldn't you believe that Burke wasnt either?
Kathy December 06, 2011 at 11:56 PM
Yeah, and the only thing Burke ever did wrong was steal a candy bar...you people are a joke, and to ignorant to ever be commenting in public. Joe Ronan would never have hurt anyone. He was sweet and kind, and someone everyone loved. His death is a huge loss to his family and friends, whose lives will be forever changed due to the greed and stupidy of a few rats who will all be caught eventually. Karma guys...it will get ya!!
Jackie December 07, 2011 at 01:48 AM
Thank you Kathy. Lots of you have things to say but don't have the guts to leave your names, cowards. Joe was a wonderful person who was loved by many. It's unfortunate that a few rats lied to save their own and it led to the death of a person who was genuine and loved by many. In the end, you will all know the truth and the people who are so quick to make ignorant comments will eat their words.
SMS December 07, 2011 at 02:20 AM
Some people may not feel okay about leaving their names because of the intense nature of the circumstances. The people they are talking about are not considered to be great people and yes I know that everyone is a great kid. But unfortunately they are great kids who got caught up in a lifestyle of drugs. It affects ANY family and no one likes to admit if their loved one has or had issues. I feel for the family of all included, but if you associate with individuals who live a certain way you are taking the risk.
Steve December 07, 2011 at 05:48 AM
Unfortunately, Joe Ronan may have been caught up in a bad group of "friends" but it will never justify what happened to him. He was trying to distance himself and do the right thing by becoming a marine. He was enthusiastic and privileged at the opportunity to protect his country. He was going to serve the United States in the Marine Corp, until someone stole that prideful opportunity away from him. Eventually the truth will come out surrounding this horrible situation and it will expose the true demons among us. RIP Joe, you're in a better place.
Anonymous December 07, 2011 at 03:31 PM
Completely understand and respect your opinion - but I would hardly call anyone not leaving their name a coward. Take a look at the caliber of people we are dealing with here. The last people I want knowing my name are any friends of the perpetrators.
Reading girl December 07, 2011 at 11:36 PM
Jackie....the only person I see leaving their name is Donna Dudley. Using ur first name does not identify u, nor should it. This is MURDER we are talking about & I dont need anyone telling me to use my real name. This has been my screen name LONG B4 this tragic event. While I didnt know Joe Ronan, he sounded like a real nice guy. BUT..if it is true the killer was there to purchase drugs, well then he maybe was not as squeaky clean as portrayed. Selling drugs is a criminal offense last I checked.
Cheryl Buono December 08, 2011 at 12:42 AM
Let's not forget the other victims of the drug dealers (at one time nice kids themselves) selling this poison. From the Reading Patch: From 2003-2005, there were 110 opioid-related hospitalizations that involved Reading residents. There were 9 opiate-related deaths locally in that 2 year period and Reading was 1 of 10 communities in the northeast region of MA with the highest crude rate of opioid-related deaths. The Reading Fire Department responded to 123 overdoses calls from 2005-2010 and administered Narcan in 59 of the 123 cases. The classification of a call as "overdose/poisoning" could be used for a person who intentionally or accidentally overdosed on anything from prescription medication to illicit overdoses. It is also used for acute alcohol intoxication. Opiate overdoses represented about 38% of the 123 RFD calls. The Reading Police Department responded to 79 overdose calls from 2005-2010. 70 of the 79 calls were for adult overdoses and 9 for juveniles. Information on deaths is unknown since many of these ended up being transported and are reflected in Fire numbers.
Reading girl December 08, 2011 at 10:48 AM
Reading is no different than any other surrounding towns as far as illegal drugs go. This problem has been around since I can remember...which happens to be the 70s. Every 5 years there is a new drug being abused, but nothing has changed. Knowledge, correct choices & sometimes just plain luck keep kids from abusing. This post is in response to the above statistics, not the main article. Thank u Cher for providing those sad figures...which do not include the ones who did not involve RPD or RFD but by the grace of God survived.
boats h January 24, 2012 at 04:13 AM
Ok first off drop the military card he didnt serve and yall are hypung it up Burley just recently finished 4 years of military service and yall arnt giving him no cudos for that. Second off no the ronnan didnt deserve to die but he wasent selling girl scout cookies and talking sunset walks on the beach. You associate yourself with bad people and do bad things then bad stuff will eventually happen. I agree with MEZA 100% on this. honestly quit bringing the military into this drug related conflict and yes people it was drug related.
Paul Ronan January 28, 2012 at 01:12 AM
ok, no one is playing the military card, all that was said was Joe was 4 weeks from going to Parris Island. If you and Meza have something to share about the drug related death of my son, I hope you have spoken to the police. I am proud of my son's decision to join the US Marine Corps. Paul Ronan, Joes' dad
jesse james February 21, 2012 at 08:13 PM
if this dude had anything to do with Burke getting 20K stolen from him then he should have known that something bad was coming down the pipe his way especially if he knew Burke...and the family and media playing up the military hero and hockey star angle is ridiculous...if he was that good at hockey, he would have played in college and he never served a day in the military, furthermore if he was selling and using Percocet than he would have not lasted very long in the Marines, probably would have been denied at MEPS before going to boot camp
Andrew Jeromski February 21, 2012 at 08:44 PM
@Jesse James ... I just don't get it ... What purpose does it serve, to anyone, to badmouth someone who is no longer around to defend himself? Why even do it? Is this how you want the community to react after you pass away? But you're right. Since he didn't play hockey in college and was deprived of the chance to serve his country, he was a bad guy. Whatever you say. Frankly, I'm sick of seeing comments like this. You didn't cross the line, so I won't delete this post, but I really do wonder about the character of someone who goes around bad mouthing the dead, and I feel awful that the Ronan family has to continually read this kind of garbage. Is it too much to ask for everyone to let the dead rest in peace? I don't even know what to say anymore. Please, just stop this nonsense.
jesse james February 21, 2012 at 10:03 PM
I understand that the comment was abrasive but that's why i said "if" he was involved in stealing 20K from Burke...if he didn't have anything to with it then it's a senseless loss of life...but i just found it offensive to people serving in the military to lump him in with them like he was some kind of war hero when he hadn't even gone to boot camp yet and may or may not have been involved grand larceny of a so-called friend of his...
sonny February 21, 2012 at 10:30 PM
I agree with a comment on another post........I may not agree with what you say but I will defend your right to say it. That's why I'm happy to live in this country. We have the freedom to express opinions even if some find them to be offensive or to be "bad mouthing" someone.
Andrew Jeromski February 21, 2012 at 10:35 PM
@Jesse James ... I think the purpose of touting his future with the Marines was to demonstrate that, whatever may have come before, his eyes were focused in the right direction. That's just my opinion. And for the record, it WAS a senseless loss of life, regardless of the circumstances.
Kat S February 21, 2012 at 11:29 PM
Somehow I suspect the alleged 20K Burke had was not from working 40 hours a week in a job....and last I checked stealing didn't = murder. And while I profess to be no Miriam Webster I didn't see any "touting" of military service I saw one small reference to it.
Kat S February 21, 2012 at 11:30 PM
tout (tout) v. tout·ed, tout·ing, touts v.intr. 1. To solicit customers, votes, or patronage, especially in a brazen way. 2. To obtain and deal in information on racehorses. v.tr. 1. To solicit or importune: street vendors who were touting pedestrians. 2. Chiefly British To obtain or sell information on (a racehorse or stable) for the guidance of bettors. 3. To promote or praise energetically; publicize: "For every study touting the benefits of hormone therapy, another warns of the risks" (Yanick Rice Lamb).
jesse james February 22, 2012 at 01:19 AM
However he allegedly acquired the 20K, doesn't justify stealing it...if Burke's story is true, not saying it is, but if it is then the person/persons involved deserved reprecussions...me personally, I wouldn't sacrifice 25 to life for 20K but I could see how a person could be mad or forced into dealing with that amount of theft...that's a lot of money, could be life changing type of money in the drug game
Kat S February 22, 2012 at 01:10 PM
@jesse perhaps Burke should have gone to the local authorities to report the theft? Oh wait, you can't report stolen drug money can you? Let's get serious...however he came in to the 20K it goes without saying it wasn't from working at Target. Regardless of who may or may not have taken it there is no excuse for murder. Money doesn't change life....people change their life. I think believing that illegal "reprecussions" have any place in society is ridiculous. That's my final word on the topic....the legal system will play out but two families will forever be destroyed.
CommonSenseCitizen February 22, 2012 at 03:26 PM
Kat S: Andrew's use of the word "touting" meets the third definition you posted. You might disagree that the military service angle was publicized heavily, but his usage is perfectly cromulent. Shallow... and pedantic.
Grieving Friend June 26, 2012 at 10:46 PM
I think we need to wait for the trial to unfold before we speculate and pass judgement. Either way, Joe did not deserve to die. He could have been your son, too, and how would you feel if people were bashing your dead son without having all of the facts! There is no justification for cold-blooded murder! Bottom line! Have respect for his grieving family and the fact that he is not here to defend himself. Wait for the trial, where all supported evidence of the facts will be made known.
Grieving Friend June 26, 2012 at 11:36 PM
"In 2008, among persons with substance dependence or abuse, the proportion with dependence on or abuse of illicit drugs also was associated with age: 60.6% of youths aged 12 to 17 were dependent on or abused drugs compared with 37.4 percent of young adults aged 18 to 25 and 24.3% of adults aged 26 or older." comes from http://www.inspirationsyouth.com/Teen-Addiction-Statistics.asp What are the odds of your son or daughter getting involved in drugs? They're surrounded by it every day! Drugs are being sold in their schools! My own nephew witnessed the selling of drugs in his school & was afraid for his life even though his involvement was just the knowledge of what was going on! He knew if he reported it his life would be in danger! Nobody is immune to this. I know too many people who have been affected by this. Think about this when you criticize or pass judgement on Joe, especially in the absence of hard evidence & facts, which will soon come out during the trial. Instead, pray that it never happens to you & count your blessings if it hasn't. Because the odds are high that in some way, parents will be impacted by this with their own sons & daughters! Instead, pray for Joe & his family & understand what they are going through. Joe did not deserve to die. His parents did not deserve to lose him. Put yourself in their shoes & don't bash their dead son. It could happen to you. Please have respect. Let the trial unfold. Let everyone grieve Joe in peace.
eddie o February 03, 2013 at 01:12 PM
wake up steve ronan was selling and was trying to get out of dodge by going into the marines.
Grieving Friend February 03, 2013 at 02:02 PM
First of all, eddie o, his name was not Steve. It was Joe. So that indicates you did not know Joe. Second, eddie o, are you saying it was acceptable for Joe to be murdered in cold blood? Because this is what it's all about!
Steve February 24, 2013 at 04:04 AM
Hi Eddie O... I was just notified that you decided to comment on a statement that I made over a year ago about the Murder of Joe Ronan. If you have information about his murder, I would be more than willing to talk about it one on one and privately. I certainly will not be conversing with you via the Reading Patch.
devils dandruff April 13, 2013 at 10:23 AM
the D.A. hit it on the button.Ronan and Junta broke into his apt. and stole his drugs. Wake up RA.Reading has one of the highest rates of Herion addicts in the state.They try to hide it .guess how many Reading kids o.d.in the last 10 years?It is in the hundreads.At least15 deaths.Wake up Reading!!!!!!!!!!!!


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