After Eight Years, Florida Mother Helps Make Arrest For Son's Murder

| by Will Hagle
article imagearticle image

Judy Weaver’s son Ronnie Johnson died in 2005 at the age of 34. Authorities informed Weaver that Johnson’s death was the result of a bike accident, but Weaver has been investigating the details since then to uncover the truth behind her son’s death. As a result of her detective work, a man named Jason Gailey has been arrested and charged with Johnson’s murder.

Witnesses have changed their initial stories to claim that Gailey struck Johnson in the head with a handgun while attempting to stop a fight. Johnson allegedly fell to the ground and hit his head on the concrete after this incident, rather than as a result of a bike accident.

The breakthrough in the investigation came partly by chance. While Weaver was working at a Chick-fil-A in her native state of Florida, Lt. Paul “Spike” Hopkins came into the restaurant. Weaver, unaware of Hopkins’ status as the detective in charge of Johnson’s case, began talking to Hopkins about her son and how she suspected Gailey as committing the murder. This sparked an interest in Hopkins, who reopened the investigation on the basis of that lead.

Hopkins was able to obtain a confession from a witness that, according to the Daily Mail, had experienced a stroke since the incident occurred and believed that he needed speak truthfully about the event. The new story is that there was a fight between Gailey and another individual named Harry Taylor. 

Johnson intervened in the fight in an attempt to stop it, when he was struck by Gailey with the handgun and knocked headfirst into the concrete.

Weaver claimed that she was “relieved” that the truth behind her son’s death was finally uncovered. She expressed her feelings of pride that Johnson died while attempting to break up a confrontation. 

“My son was a good Samaritan and he lost his life. If he had to lose his life, I’m proud he lost his life doing a good thing. I think he is looking down on us and just so proud that we never gave up, that we got to the bottom of this. I feel him around me, and when I see him again, we will rejoice,” Weaver said.