When Ronald “Ronnie” Jimmie Johnson was found unconscious on Raeford Road in the Conway area of Orlando, Florida, on June 27, 2005, it honestly left his loved ones shaken to their very core. After all, as explored in AMC+’s ‘True Crime Story: Citizen Detective: Deb and Judy,’ he was turning over a new leaf following troubles with addiction, but it all got snatched away in the blink of an eye. Yet for now, if you simply wish to learn more about the individuals to have unwaveringly fought for years to attain him some justice — his mother as well as his sisters — we’ve got the details for you.
Who is Ronald “Ronnie” Johnson’s Family?
It was reportedly back in 1971 when Ronnie was born as a middle child to Judy Weaver in Orange County, Florida, only for them to have a bond unlike any other no matter the years to have passed. That’s partly because he had a 5½-year age gap with both his elder and younger sisters, making it a bit difficult for them to connect as they all grew up facing different stages at the same time. “They were total opposites…,” the matriarch confirmed in the episode. “Tammy was very loving and affectionate, Debby [Deborah Murray] could get a book, sit, and read for hours, and Ronnie had to tear up things.”
Deborah, the eldest of the bunch, further reminisced, “You walk in a room, and [Ronnie] would have a fan pulled completely apart. He was always cu rious about how things worked, so I didn’t want him using my belongings. I ran him off a lot.” Nevertheless, he proudly took on the role of peacemaker within the brood, especially as he was surrounded by three very headstrong, fierce, as well as admittedly stubborn women who never liked to waver from their beliefs or viewpoints. It thus comes as no surprise that when they felt as if his passing was not the result of a mere bicycle accident, as the police assuredly believed, since his two-wheeler was nowhere to be found, they decided to investigate the case themselves.
The bike actually appeared right at Judy’s doorstep in perfect condition a few days later once she indicated she’d report it missing, which happened not long after they learned even Ronnie’s head injuries were inconsistent with a fall. She and Deborah, in particular, hence dedicated every bit of their free time to look into this matter, knowing the authorities had already raised their hands due to the “accident” aspect despite him having suffered two blunt force traumas from an alleged single fall. While the matriarch took to the streets to talk to witnesses, neighbors, as well as possible suspects alike on her own, her daughter focused on researching different facets to help their case — they basically deligated and strategized.
Where is Ronald “Ronnie” Johnson’s Family Now?
It did take nearly eight years, several personal inquiries, a confrontation with the initial police officer, plus cold case units finally stepping in for Judy and Deborah to get answers, but it was worth it. They’d actually already learned from witnesses that Jason Brian Gailey was apparently the man responsible for Ronnie’s demise, but it obviously wasn’t until local authorities stepped in that he was ultimately arrested on three counts related to second-degree murder in 2013. But alas, the district attorney’s office soon decided not to pursue these charges in court as they weren’t sure how reliable a jury would find these witnesses with undeniable shady pasts to be.
Nevertheless, Judy and Deborah were happy because the truth had finally come to light. “I think of Ronnie every day…,” his mother said in the original production. “I see things that remind me of him. I see his picture. I find pennies on the road, and I say, ‘Oh! Ronnie was here’ because he used to give me all of his pennies. I mean, I will dive under a table for a penny – – because it’s a penny from heaven. I know that sounds crazy, and people might look at me like it’s crazy, but it’s my healing. He’s with me all the time.”
Well, the truth is Judy is now with him — unfortunately, this Edgewater High School graduate turned Lynx driver, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother passed away at the age of 76 on May 13, 2023. Her obituary reads, in part, “She loved meeting many different people and considered some of her riders as friends. Judy was a loving woman and generous to a fault. If someone needed something, she’d make it happen. She loved her family and friends. She will truly be missed by all that knew her and loved her. She has gone Home to hug her children.”
This specifies “children” instead of just Ronnie because her youngest daughter Tammy Barnard also preceded her in death — this family woman and mother ostensibly passed away around late 2021. Coming to Deborah, from what we can tell, she’s trying to heal from these devastating personal losses to the best of her abilities at the moment, all the while ensuring to keep their memories alive in her heart. It actually seems like she’s doing so while continuing to reside in Orlando County, Florida, where she’s surrounded by her loving husband Jim plus their own little brood of kids and grandkids.