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Crime Man Yells At Jurors While Serving As Own Attorney in Death Penalty Trial

18:41  16 june  2021
18:41  16 june  2021 Source:   newsweek.com

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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.

a man wearing a suit and tie: Ronnie Oneal yelled parts of his opening statement to jurors as he acted as his own attorney during his murder trial. © WFLA Ronnie Oneal yelled parts of his opening statement to jurors as he acted as his own attorney during his murder trial.

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.

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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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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.'"

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The boy, who is now 11, is expected to testify, according to Fox13.

Oneal's trial is expected to last at least two weeks.

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