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Like many people who have lived through a traumatic experience, it is possible that Ponyboy is suffering from denial. He refuses to beleive that Johnny has died. He even becomes angry with Randy when he visits to give his condolences.
We could probably infer that Ponyboy's refusing to beleive Johnny was dead was his not wanting to cope with the death of yet another loved one. Even after Johnny's death, Ponyboy is still compelled to protect Johnny, just as he did when Johnny was alive. This is why he tells Randy his intentions of telling the judge that he is the one responsible for Bob's death.
Ponyboy does not want to believe that Johnny is dead because he is so dear to him. He denies the fact that Johnny killed Bob. Instead, he says that he was the murderer. Ponyboy is trying to hide the truth because he can't accept it.
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