Arrest Made In 2006 Murder Investigation

March 11, 2008

photo of Ramon StewartOn July 21, 2006 the Mesa Police Department launched an investigation into the murder of then 32-year-old Juan Antonio Loera of Mesa. At 8:21 pm police received a 911 call regarding a shooting that took place in the 7000 block of East Main Street in Mesa. When officers arrived on scene they discovered Loera deceased in the roadway with multiple gunshot wounds, laying in front of a passenger car.

Investigators received information that Loera and the suspect were seen standing next to a passenger car near the roadway in the area of 7000 E. Main Street. A few moments later two gunshots were heard and muzzle flash from a gun was seen. The suspect was seen running from the scene. At the time of the investigation the suspect was described as a black male in his late teens to early twenties, approximately 5' 11" to 6' tall with a slender/athletic build.

The scene was processed for evidence and bullet shell casings were located. The identifying information of the shell casings was entered into a national database. In May of 2007 investigators received information that the shell casings matched others that were recovered from a gun that was recovered by the Phoenix Police Department in September of 2006.

In July of 2006 investigators received a phone call from an anonymous caller who verbally identified the suspect in this case as "Roman" or "Ramon." The suspect was described as a black male, approximately 19 or 20-years-old, 5' 10", thin build and known to live in the Jefferson Park neighborhood in East Mesa, which is just South of the original crime scene. Investigators spoke to several people in the neighborhood and police records were reviewed. The information gathered produced a strong investigative lead and the person of interest was subsequently identified as 20-year-old Ramon Darnell Stewart of Mesa.

In August of 2006 Stewart was arrested on an unrelated charge by Maricopa County Probation. At that time investigators conducted a post-Miranda interview. During the interview Stewart acknowledged that he knew the victim, however he denied any involvement in the murder. An additional witness was located and information was developed placing Stewart in the area of the crime scene approximately 10 minutes after gunshots were heard on the night of July 21, 2006. Additional information regarding the gun that was used in the murder was brought to the attention of investigators. The description of the gun given at the time matched the gun that was recovered by the Phoenix Police Department in September of 2006. Stewart is also believed to have talked about the murder to another person.

On March 8, 2008 at 2:11 pm, investigators arrested Ramon Darnell Stewart for the murder of Juan Antonio Loera. Stewart was booked on one count of Second Degree Murder.



Mesa Police Department
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PO Box 1466
Mesa, AZ 85211

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