Ronnie Oneal III, the Florida man who is on trial for the murders of his girlfriend and daughter, is representing himself in court. On Monday, his opening statement gained him internet fame as he shouted at the jury and engaged in other bizarre antics in open court.
Oneal is facing two counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder in the deaths of his girlfriend and daughter in 2018, WFLA reported. The defendant also stabbed his son. Kenyatta Barron, 33, was first shot and then bludgeoned to death. Their daughter Ron’Niveya Oneal, 9, was killed with a hatchet. The child was autistic and had cerebral palsy, and was unable to shout or run away.
Assistant State Attorney Scott Harmon said after killing the little girl, Oneal then stabbed his son and set him on fire with gasoline. The little boy survived and told deputies he saw his father kill his mother, according to prosecutors.
Oneal is facing the death penalty but is representing himself in court. Public defenders are on standby, but Oneal dropped them when they informed him that the “stand your ground” defense did not apply to his case.
When it was Oneal’s turn to present his opening statement, he began by forcefully yelling at the jury and claiming that the case against him had been “fabricated.”
“By the time this is all said and done, you will see who is the mass murderers in Tampa Bay,” he said.
Oneal claimed that the 911 call of Kenyatta Barron begging for her life was not real and that the police department made them up.
On Wednesday, the son that Oneal tried to murder took the stand to testify against his father. The child’s testimony was heard remotely.
When it was Oneal’s turn to question his son, he asked, “Did I hurt you that night?”
His son, who was 8 at the time of the attack, replied that his father did hurt him and, upon further query, stated that Oneal stabbed him. One of the sergeants involved in the case said that the boy was so badly injured that he looked disemboweled.
Oneal has remained in custody as the trial has progressed.