Florida Double-Murder Suspect Gives Fiery Opening Statement in His Own Defense at Trial
Ronnie O’Neal III is accused of killing his girlfriend, 33-year-old Kenyatta Barron, and daughter, 9-year-old Ron'Niveya O’Neal.
A Florida man accused of killing his girlfriend and daughter gave his passionate opening statement to the jury at his trial this week after deciding to defend himself in the case.
“I’m pleading not guilty to the charges of premeditated murder,” Ronnie O'Neal III said June 14. “The evidence is going to show that law enforcement tampered with evidence to meet their such high burden of proof because originally, it wasn't enough. So we had to tamper with evidence since it was such evident already, but we still had to tamper with evidence,” he added.
He also said, “The evidence is going to show that I love my children, and the evidence is going to prove to you that this whole entire case has been tackled with and fabricated before it's all said and done.”
O’Neal seemed to catch many people, including the judge, by surprise as he shouted and dramatically delivered his opening statement to the jury.
Ronnie O'Neal is accused of killing his girlfriend, 33-year-old Kenyatta Barron, and daughter, 9-year-old Ron'Niveya O’Neal, inside their Riverview home in March 2018. He is now facing two counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder.
Prosecutors say O'Neal shot his girlfriend while their daughter watched. He then returned to his home and turned on his 9-year-old special needs daughter and killed her with a hatchet, according to prosecutors.
His 11-year-old son testified as a key witness after police said his father attacked him. After allegedly attacking his family, O'Neal set the home on fire, according to prosecutors.
O'Neal’s trial is expected to last two more weeks.
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