Man accused of killing girlfriend, disabled daughter defends himself in viral video
Ronnie Oneal III is also accused of stabbing his son — who testified this week — and setting him afire.
A Florida man accused of killing his girlfriend and their disabled daughter has gone viral for his opening statement while acting as his own defense attorney this week.
“By the time this is all said and done, you will see who is the mass murderers in Tampa Bay,” Ronnie Oneal III, 32, said in a fiery opening statement Monday to the jurors. “Law enforcement tampered with evidence to meet their such high burden of proof.”
Oneal is accused of shooting and stabbing his girlfriend Kenyatta Barron to death and of slaying their nine-year-old daughter, Ron’Niveya, who had cerebral palsy, in March 2018. Their then-eight-year-old son, Ronnie, who took the stand via Zoom against Oneal, was also targeted.
The accused man started the trial with various motions, including arguing that his right to a speedy trial had been violated in the three-year-old incident. He also accused the state’s attorney’s office of withholding discovery documents.
“I look alone. But I am backed by a mighty God,” Oneal said to the jury. “The evidence is going to show that I love my children … The evidence will not show you that my son witnessed me beat his mom to death, nor did he witness me shoot his mom. In fact, he didn’t witness much at all.”
Florida state attorneys allege that Oneal shot Barron, beat her with a shotgun and murdered his daughter with a hatchet. He is also accused of stabbing his son and setting him on fire. Oneal says Barron attacked the children, claiming he killed her in their defense.
He later cross-examined his surviving child, who was hospitalized with severe stab wounds and fostered — then adopted a year later — by a Hillsborough County Sheriff’s deputy. Oneal asked the boy, “Did I hurt you that night?” His son replied, “Yes. You stabbed me.”
Oneal has claimed he acted in self-defense, maintaining that he is the victim of “some of the most vicious, lying, fabricating, fictitious government you ever seen.”
The viral video was shared by actor Ice-T, known for decades since his successful-rapper days as NYPD vet Odafin “Fin” Tutuola on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. The TV star wrote a caption reading, “When you’ve watched TOOOO much Law & Order and think you can defend yourself… Not a Great idea… Just sayin.”
If convicted of the crimes, Oneal faces the death penalty.