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 9-year-old daughter and the mother of his two children in 2018.
According to a Monday report (June 21) from the Tampa Bay Times, a jury has found Oneal guilty on two charges of first-degree murder for the March 2018 killings of his girlfriend and their daughter, who was only nine at the time. He was also convicted on a charge of attempted murder for stabbing their then-8-year-old son, a charge of arson for setting their house on fire and two more charges of aggravated child abuse.
Prosecutors say Oneal shot his girlfriend, Kenyatta Barron, in the shoulder with a shotgun before she ran outside and onto her neighbors’ yard. It was then, prosecutors say, that Oneal beat her with the shotgun. After that, they say that he re-entered their home and ragged his daughter, who suffered from cerebral palsy, from her bed before attacking her with a hatchet before cutting his son with a knife and pouring gasoline around their house and setting it on fire. Barron and their daughter died of their injuries, and their son has been adopted by one of the homicide detectives assigned to work this case.
For his part, Oneal insisted that he defended himself during the trial, and he claimed that he ‘d shot Barron after she attacked both of their children. As part of his defense, he also claimed that government officials altered the evidence so that it would work against him.
Although Oneal acted as his own attorney, three public defenders were standing nearby and it’s being reported that they whispered advice to him at points during the trial. Before court adjourned for the day, the judge advised Oneal to have a trained lawyer represent him, but he apparently didn’t make a decision at that moment.
Now that he’s been convicted of several charges, prosecutors are reportedly looking to seek the death penalty for Oneal. You can see video of Oneal defending himself in court below.
He deserves every year they give him.