Ronnie Oneal: Man accused of killing girlfriend, daughter, grills son in court
TAMPA, FLORIDA: A father, accused of killing his girlfriend and nine-year-old autistic daughter, reportedly aggressively cross-examined his son who testified against him in court. The eleven-year-old child was eight when he reportedly witnessed the brutal murder of his mother and sister. He also suffered severe wounds during the 2018 incident, allegedly carried out by Ronnie Oneal III, who also set their house on fire.
“My dad killed my mom,” Ronnie Jr told jurors via video conference at his father’s double-murder trial on Wednesday, June 16. However, he was reportedly grilled by Oneal, who is acting as his own attorney in the trial. The suspect also told the court that his son’s testimony did not match his earlier statement. When Oneal asked the child, “Did I hurt you the night of this incident.” He replied: “Yes. You stabbed me.”
According to prosecutors, Oneal allegedly murdered his girlfriend Kenyatta Barron, 33, on March 18, 2018, by shooting her and then beating her with the shotgun to death. The accused also killed nine-year-old Ron’Niveya Oneal with an axe before stabbing Ronnie Jr and setting their house on fire.
But Oneal has claimed that Barron was the real culprit who killed their daughter and in self-defense, he had to kill her. “By the time it’s all said and done, you will see who is the mass murderers,” he screamed in the court during his opening statement, Monday, June 14. He also added: “This whole entire case has been tampered with and fabricated. My son did not witness me viciously beat his mom to death.”
While giving his testimony, Ronnie Jr recalled the horrific day and told the jury that he heard his mother and father arguing and when he went to see what was happening, he was ordered by his mother to go back to his bed. However, he soon reportedly saw Oneal “holding a shotgun.” “My mom ran into my sister’s room, into the closet,” the boy said as he added, “My dad told me to walk around and say some words, ‘Allah Akbar,’” and also asked him to kill his mother. The child also alleged that he was forced by his father to hold the gun with him while Oneal fired a bullet. But it’s not confirmed if Barron got injured by that bullet.
Ronnie Jr also testified that his father chased his mother outside, with prosecutors claiming that Oneal hit Barron so hard with the shotgun that it broke into pieces and had its barrel bent. The boy told the jurors that after hitting his mum, Oneal came back inside the house, picked up an axe and then dragged his sister into the master bedroom. “He hit her in the back of the head with the ax,” Ronnie Jr said and alleged his dad also set ablaze their home.
However, when cross-examined, Ronnie Jr said he did not physically see his dad murder anyone. But claimed to hear and see enough to understand what was happening. The child also said that soon after the horror, he fled the house. He was reportedly found by a neighbor, who called cops for help. Hillsborough Sheriff’s Sgt Frank Tagliarini testified on Tuesday, June 15, “He appeared to have been disemboweled,” and was soon rushed to a hospital.