Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Murder of Krystal Dawn Steadman


On the morning of September 25, 1979, a little over a month since his release from prison, Ronny decided to teach his stepmother a lesson. He entered the house and accosted Jayne before she knew what was happening. He quickly overpowered her and brutally raped her. Afterwards he bound her wrists behind her back with wire, then tied more wire from her neck to her ankles and placed her on the floor in such a position that if she dropped her legs, the wire would cut off her air supply. After approximately ten minutes of struggling to hold her legs up, she eventually became too tired to resist and died. Ronny stood by and watched the entire event. Afterwards he covered her head with a towel and walked out. Later that day, Thomas walked in and discovered his mother's lifeless body on his bedroom floor. The scene was horrifying and would alter his life forever.

Just three days after the brutal murder, Ronny bragged about the crime to family members, who in turn reported him to the Sacramento Police Department. Ronny was arrested, charged with first-degree murder and in April of 1980, he was sentenced to death. In 1984, Ronny's attorneys filed an appeal, claiming he had inadequate representation at his murder trial. He won the appeal and was transferred from San Quentin Prison to the Sacramento County Jail. While awaiting his new trial, Ronny planned an escape, but was caught by guards. They found a knife and homemade rope on his possession. He was charged with planning an escape and carrying a concealed weapon.

At Ronny's new trial the prosecution decided to make a deal. He could plead guilty with protestations of innocence and receive a sentence of 25 years for the murder and 11 years for the 1985 escape attempt. Ronny's attorneys accepted the deal. With good behavior, Ronny Mozingo would be eligible for parole in just 12 years.

Thomas lost his mother, his only connection to family and his stepbrother got a slap on the wrist for her brutal rape and murder. In the end it was an injustice that would haunt Thomas for the rest of his life.

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