Crime Man Yells At Jurors While Serving As Own Attorney in Death Penalty Trial
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The DA's office is quietly whisking witnesses in front of a "special" grand jury for what may be one of the most pivotal criminal cases in US history.The grand jury is "special" in two ways. It'll be convened for six months, rather than one month, which is standard. It also could be asked to do something no one has ever done before: indict a former president.
A Florida man facing the death penalty, for allegedly killing his girlfriend and their daughter, yelled at jurors as he delivered the opening statement in his own murder trial Monday.
Ronnie Oneal III is charged with two counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder.
He is accused of killing Kenyatta Barron, the 33-year-old mother of his children, and their 9-year-old daughter Ron'Niveya Oneal. Oneal also allegedly seriously injured their son and set their house in Riverview, near Tampa, on fire on March 18, 2018.
President Biden Must End the Federal Death Penalty | Opinion
Clearing federal death row is the only way to make sure that the U.S. government does not execute an innocent person.Those were the words of Carlos DeLuna, a young Latino man who Texas executed in 1989. At trial, DeLuna said that another man—Carlos Hernandez—murdered Wanda Lopez, a single mother stabbed to death while working at a convenience store in Corpus Christi.
Oneal claims he acted in self-defense, according to court documents. He decided to act as his own defense attorney, after his lawyers told him that Florida's "stand your ground" defense did not apply to his case, WFLA reported.
As his trial got underway on Monday, he delivered an opening statement while his public defenders sat nearby.
Video from the courtroom showed Oneal angrily yelled parts of his statement at the jury as he maintained that the case against him had been fabricated.
"By the time it's all said and done, you will see who is the mass murderers... in Tampa Bay," he said.
Oneal later claimed that 911 calls from his girlfriend were fake, which were played to the jury as part of the prosecution's opening remarks.
"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 also yelled, according to Fox13.
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The Justice Department asked the Supreme Court to reverse a decision by a lower court that invalidated the death sentences.In a brief filed with the Supreme Court on Monday in the dispute between the federal government and Tsarnaev, Acting Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar argued the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was wrong to vacate the capital sentences recommended by a federal jury "in one of the most important terrorism prosecutions in our nation's history" and called for the high court to reverse the lower court's decision.
Oneal's statement came after the prosecutor told jurors that Oneal shot Barron with a shotgun, then beat her to death with the weapon when he ran out of shells.
Responding deputies found the woman on the lawn, and she was later pronounced dead, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said at the time.
In the state's opening statement, Assistant State Attorney Scott Harmon said after Oneal beat his girlfriend to death, he ran back inside the house and killed his daughter using a hatchet.
The girl had cerebral palsy and autism and wasn't able to speak, run or defend herself, Harmon told jurors.
Harmon said Oneal then turned to his 8-year-old son, Ronnie IV. Oneal allegedly stabbed the boy and set him, and the house, on fire. The boy survived and the first thing he told deputies was that he saw his father kill his mother, prosecutors say.
They "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," Harmon said. "They will you the first words that came out of this brave boy's mouth: 'My daddy killed my mommy.'"
US urges court to reimpose Boston bomber's death sentence
BOSTON (AP) — President Joe Biden’s administration is urging the U.S. Supreme Court to reinstate the death sentence for Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev despite the president’s vocal opposition to capital punishment. Justice Department lawyers wrote in court documents filed Monday that the Boston-based 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was wrong when it threw out the 27-year-old's death sentence last year over concerns about the jury selection process. (FBI via AP, File) Justice Department lawyers wrote in court documents filed Monday that the Boston-based 1st U.S.
The boy, who is now 11, is expected to testify, according to Fox13.
Oneal's trial is expected to last at least two weeks.
Judge Throws Out Murder Conviction After Progressive Reform DA Sides With Defense Over Exclusion of Black Jurors .
A judge in New Orleans threw out a Black man's murder conviction earlier this week after the city's new progressive prosecutor conceded that his predecessor's systematic striking of jurors based on race prevented him from having a jury of his peers. The post Judge Throws Out Murder Conviction After Progressive Reform DA Sides With Defense Over Exclusion of Black Jurors first appeared on Law & Crime.Orleans Parish District Attorney Jason Williams (D) recently filed state’s motions supporting defense attorneys for Jabari Williams, no relation, who argued that the original prosecutor in the case intentionally struck every potential Black juror from the jury pool.