A Florida man on trial for a double homicide turned the proceedings into a circus, as he acted as his own lawyer and cross-examined his 11-year-old son, who responded to his dad by testifying: “You stabbed me.”
Ronnie Oneal III allegedly murdered his girlfriend and their disabled 9-year-old daughter, then stabbed his then 8-year-old boy before setting the family’s Tampa home on fire in 2018.
The surviving child testified Wednesday by remote video that he witnessed the murders.
When it was Oneal’s turn to cross-examine the boy, he asked his son, “Did I hurt you that night?”
“Yes,” the 11-year-old responded.
“How did I hurt you?” Oneal continued.
“You stabbed me,” his son replied.
On Monday, Oneal told the court that the prosecution’s evidence was “some of the most vicious, lying, fabricating, fictitious government you ever seen,” while delivering opening arguments on his own behalf.
“I look alone. But I am backed by a mighty God,” Oneal shouted as he gestured and paced in the Tampa courtroom.
Prosecutors said they would prove Oneal shot his girlfriend Kenyatta Barron before beating her to death.
They also said the defendant killed his 9-year-old daughter with a hatchet and stabbed his then 8-year-old son. The young girl had cerebral palsy and was non-verbal.
Oneal maintains he killed Barron in self-defense after she attacked their children.
Prosecutors said the surviving son ran out of the burning house and described what happened.
“The first words that came out of this brave boy’s mouth: ‘My daddy killed my mommy,’” Assistant State Attorney Scott Harmon told the court.
The jury also heard a 911 call Barron made after she had allegedly been shot.
“OK, Ronnie, I’m sorry,” she said as Oneal was heard yelling in the background.
“I’m so sorry. Help me. I can’t move my arm. My arm is shot up, Ronnie. Please.”
Oneal told the jury cops fabricated the evidence and coached his son to lie.
“The evidence is going to show that I love my children,” Oneal told jurors. “The evidence will not show you that my son witnessed me beat his mom to death, nor did he witness me shoot his mom. In fact, he didn’t witness much at all.”
If convicted, Oneal could be sentenced to death.
With AP wires