A bizarre scene played out today in a Tampa, Florida court room. Murder suspect Ronnie O’Neal III decided to represent himself in the double homicide case of his girlfriend and daughter. The impassioned man delivered his heated opening statement, claiming that evidence tampering resulted in him being wrongfully accused. The worst part, he had to question his 11 year old son, who he also attacked that evening, in front of a the jury.
Prosecutors allege that on March 18, 2018 Oneal shot his girlfriend, 33-year-old Kenyatta Barron, then beat her to death with the shotgun when he ran out of bullets. The 32-year-old man then used an ax to kill their 9-year-old special needs daughter Ron’Niveya Oneal. Afterwards he stabbed a then 8 year old Ronnie Jr. followed by setting their Riverview house on fire. The vicious incident grew nationwide attention.
Ronnie Jr. was so badly hurt that he appeared to be “disemboweled,” testified one investigator during the hearing. The young man was able to recover and took the stand to testify against his father.
“Did I hurt you the night of this incident,” Oneal asked his son. “Yes. You stabbed me,” his Ronnie Jr replied. Ronnie Jr. recalled in horrifying details the events of that evening. After hearing his father and mother argue, he says they ran into his sisters room. While there his father called him into the room and asked him to shoot his mother. He made Ronnie Jr. hold the gun and fire off one shot. He then sent him to look for a hunting knife. He recalls his mother escaping the house, with his father chasing her. Authorities confirmed that she was found dead on the steps of a neighbors house. She had been beaten so bad with the shotgun that the handle had splinted and the gun was bent.
The night he was taken in, Oneal was heard saying “I’ve just been attacked by some white demon. Her name is KeKe and she tried to kill me and I just killed her” in released 911 calls.
Oneal has maintained that it was not him, but Barron who attacked the children. He claims he had to kill her in self defense.
In the chilling video going viral of him delivering his opening statement, Oneal says “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.” He also claims the case against him is fabricated.
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