June 16, 2021

USA: Opening Statements Began On Monday In The Double-Murder Trial Of A Riverview Man Accused Of Murdering His Girlfriend And 9-Year-Old Daughter In 2018 And Trying To Kill His Son, Burned Down Home

ABC Action News published June 16, 2021: Opening statements begin in double-murder trial of Riverview man. Opening statements began on Monday in the double-murder trial of a Riverview man accused of killing his girlfriend and 9-year-old daughter in 2018 and trying to kill his son.
FOX 13 Tampa Bay published June 16, 2021: 'You stabbed me,' boy tells father at double-murder trial. Jurors heard heartbreaking testimony Wednesday morning at Ronnie Oneal’s murder trial. His 11-year-old son answered questions about the day his mom and sister were killed.
His son testified, "My dad told me to walk around and say some words. Prosecutor, "Do you remember what words your father told you to say?" His son replied, "Allahu Akbar." Prosecutor, "Did he do something to your sister?" His son replied, "Yes, he hit her with an axe." (emphasis mine)
The boy was just 8 years old when he said Oneal, his father, attacked him after murdering his mom and 9-year-old sister. He bravely faced his father today.

Investigators have said Oneal shot Kenyatta Baron and beat her with a shotgun, used a hatchet to stab his daughter repeatedly, then stabbed his young son before lighting the boy and their house on fire.
FOX 13 Tampa Bay published June 14, 2021: Double-murder suspect, defending himself, screams opening statements at jury.

Ronnie O’Neal is accused of killing nearly his whole family back in 2018. He is also accused of trying to kill his son, who barely survived the attack and is scheduled to testify.

The Riverview man is facing two counts of murder and one count of attempted murder. He has elected to represent himself in his own murder trial, which means he’ll be able to cross-examine his son, who was 8 years old at the time of the murder.

O'Neal is accused of attacking his family, murdering his girlfriend, Kenyatta Barron, and their daughter, 9-year-old Ron’Niveya.

Fox13 News, Tampa Bay FL local
written by Aaron Mesmer
Monday June 14, 2021

TAMPA, Fla. - The trial of a Riverview man accused of murdering his girlfriend and daughter, then trying to kill his son, got off to an explosive start Monday.

Ronnie Oneal III, 32, is representing himself and shouted parts of his opening statement at the jury.

"The evidence is going to show that law enforcement tampered with evidence to meet their high burden of proof because originally it wasn't enough so [they] had to tamper with evidence," Oneal yelled.

Prosecutors, however, said the evidence is indisputable and the only person responsible for the violent attack on his family is Ronnie Oneal.

The state began its opening remarks by playing a 911 call made by Kenyatta Baron, Oneal's girlfriend, as she pleaded for her life. Prosecutors said, by then, she had already been shot and, while the recording continued, Oneal can be heard beating her with a shotgun.
"The evidence will show that that was just the beginning of what happened," said Assistant State Attorney Scott Harmon.

The state then took the jury step by step through, what prosecutors said, was Oneal's violent rampage in March 2018.

According to investigators, after killing Kenyatta, Oneal brutally murdered his 9-year-old daughter, Ron’Niveya, and tried to stab to death his 8-year-old son, Ronnie IV, before setting him and the house on fire.

"The evidence will show that that was just the beginning of what happened and it's just the beginning of what became an odyssey for this little boy, an odyssey of violence an odyssey of brutality and an odyssey of excruciating pain," said Harmon, "because the evidence will show little Ronnie didn't just witness this murder and other bloody crimes this night, but little Ronnie suffered as a victim of a crime himself."

Ronnie IV barely survived the attack.

Harmon told the jury the first thing Ronnie IV said to detectives when he made it out of the house.

"[Detectives] will tell you that the words that came out of this boy's mouth were not a cry for help, they were not a, 'help me,' or a painful cry. They will you the first words that came out of this brave boy's mouth: 'My daddy killed my mommy,'" Harmon said.

The defendant, however, told the jury a different story.

"The evidence is going to show my son did not see me murder his mom. The evidence is going to show he did not see me shoot his mom. The evidence is going to show my son said many things that are not true," said Oneal, raising his voice several times.

The first day of the trial wrapped up after several detectives and neighbors testified.

Ronnie IV, who is now 11 years old and has a different last name, is expected to testify during the trial.

UPDATE 6/22/21 at 3:33pm: Added info below.
Fox13 Tampa Bay published June 22, 2021: Jury reads guilty verdicts in Ronnie Oneal murder trial. 

The trial was three years in the making, but after a few hours, a jury found Ronnie Oneal III guilty of the brutal murders of his 11-year-old daughter and mother of his two children in 2018. His son barely survived the attack and lived to testify against his father at the age of 11.

The jury found Oneal guilty of two counts of first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder. He was also found guilty of arson, two counts of aggravated child abuse, and resisting an officer without violence.

Oneal sat quietly and did not appear to react as the jury foreman read the verdict at 7 p.m., just over four hours after deliberations began.

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