Arrest Made In 2006 Murder Investigation
March 11, 2008
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.