Ronnie Joseph was sentenced to death by the State of Arizona for the murder of a teenager. According to court documents Ronnie Joseph was involved in an argument with his girlfriend when he pulled out a gun and shot her. Ronnie Joseph would then shoot her roommate and a fourteen year old boy, Tommar Brown who would die from his injuries. Ronnie Joseph would be arrested, convicted and sentenced to death.
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ASPC Eyman, Browning Unit
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RONNIE L. JOSEPH 047079
Florence, AZ 85132
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On April 1, 2004, Ronnie Joseph went to the apartment of his girlfriend Darlene Brown. Jerry Roundtree was Darlene’s roommate; also living at the apartment was Darlene’s sister’s son, Tommar Brown. Joseph had his own set of keys to the apartment and would come and go on a usual basis.
On this particular day, Joseph’s keys did not fit the lock, and he somehow still gained access into the apartment. Joseph entered the master bedroom where Darlene was. Joseph and Darlene engaged in a violent argument and fight; he subsequently shot her twice. Jerry kicked the door in and Ronnie Joseph shot him in the hand, causing him to collapse. Joseph then began firing shots in the bathroom where Tommar was. Jerry attempted to leave the apartment but Joseph shot him in the chest before he reached the front door. Joseph then returned to Darlene’s bedroom and shot her two more times. Jerry and Darlene survived their injuries, Tommar died at the scene from a gunshot to the chest
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Ronnie Joseph went to the apartment where his wife, Darlene Brown, lived with Jerry Roundtree and her fourteen-year-old nephew, Tommar Brown. Joseph and Darlene began to argue in Darlene’s locked bedroom, and Joseph pulled a gun and shot her. Jerry kicked open the bedroom door, but turned and ran when he saw Joseph holding a gun. Joseph shot at him, hitting him in the hand.
¶ 3 As Jerry fled, he saw Tommar go into the bathroom. Joseph pushed open the bathroom door and fired two or three shots, hitting Tommar in his left buttock and chest. The shot to Tommar’s chest passed through his heart, killing him.
¶ 4 Joseph saw Jerry near the front door of the apartment and shot him in the chest before returning to Darlene’s bedroom and firing a few more shots, at least two of which hit Darlene. Joseph then fled.
¶ 5 When police arrived, both Darlene and Jerry identified Ronnie Joseph as the shooter. Police apprehended Joseph three days later.
¶ 6 The jury found Ronnie Joseph guilty of the first degree murder of Tommar, attempted second degree murder of Darlene, attempted first degree murder of Jerry, first degree burglary, and misconduct involving weapons. In the aggravation phase of the trial, the jury found two aggravating factors: Joseph previously had been convicted of a serious offense, A.R.S. § 13–751(F)(2) (2010), and the victim was less than fifteen years old, id. § 13–751(F)(9). Joseph did not present any mitigating evidence in the penalty phase, and the jury determined that he should be sentenced to death for Tommar’s murder. The trial judge imposed prison terms for the other convictions.