HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — After deliberating for four-and-a-half hours, 12 jurors found Ronnie O'Neal guilty on all seven counts.
- First-degree murder — two count
- Attempted first-degree murder — one count
- Aggravated child abuse — two counts
- Resisting a law enforcement officer without violence — one count
Verdict is in! The Jury found the defendant, Ronnie O'neal guilty on all counts. O'neal killed his girlfriend, their nine year old daughter and attempted to kill his son. He faces the death penalty. Penalty phase begins Weds. @BN9— Saundra WeathersOnTV (@SaundraONTV) June 21, 2021
O'Neal represented himself at trial, where he was accused of murdering his girlfriend and 9-year-old daughter. He could now face the death penalty. That phase of the trial starts wednesday.
What You Need To Know
- Ronnie O'Neal was convicted of first-degree murder and other charges after representing himself at trial
- In his opening statement, he paced and raised his voice while saying that evidence in the case was tampered with by police
- An 11-year-old boy, the son of Ronnie O'Neal and Kenyatta Barron, took the stand Wednesday
Closing arguments started and ended Monday. Like last week during opening statements, it included O'Neal raising his voice while speaking to the jury.
O’Neal killed his girlfriend, Kenyatta Brown, and their 9-year-old daughter, then tried to kill his 8-year-old son.
Prosecutors on Monday said they had proven beyond a reasonable doubt that O'Neal committed the slayings.
O'Neal, representing himself, said the prosecution has not been truthful about how the events unfolded.
"I did kill Kenyatta Barron, but I want you to tell it like it is, if you're going to tell it," O'Neal shouted. He was warned by the judge about using offensive language in the courtroom.
He later said: "Nobody can prove to me that you did not coerce my son to say those things." He was referring to the testimony his son made.
Earlier Monday, Assistant State Attorney Ronald Gale started his closing arguments for the state by playing the 911 call from March 18, 2018, the night of the murders. The jurors listened to the screams from Barron.
"The state has gone way beyond a reasonable doubt," Gale said. "You can have no doubt in your mind that this defendant Ronnie O'Neal is guilty of all these crimes... The evidence against him is overwhelming for one reason only... because he is guilty."
The judge said Friday she did not want to sequester the jury. She asked them to bring an overnight bag just in case they may have to stay over in deliberations.
On Friday, the lead detective took the stand and was questioned by O’Neal, who asked the detective whether it could have been self-defense.
“I’m not going to say that, no,” the detective said. “I arrested you for her murder.”
O’Neal faces the death penalty if convicted.
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