Life in Prison Is Sentence for Florida Man in Double Killing

Life in Prison Is Sentence for Florida Man in Double Killing
Ronnie Oneal III. (Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office)

TAMPA, Fla.—A Florida man will serve life in prison without parole for the 2018 slayings of his girlfriend and their young special-needs daughter, a judge ruled Friday.

The sentence for Ronnie Oneal III was a foregone conclusion when a jury opted in June not to recommend the death penalty. Oneal, 32, was convicted of murder, attempted murder, arson and aggravated child abuse.

Trial testimony showed he shot and beat to death his girlfriend, Kenyatta Barron, and used a hatchet to kill their 9-year-old daughter, who suffered from autism and cerebral palsy. The testimony showed Oneal also stabbed and wounded his son, then 8, and set fire to the family home.

The judge said she had rarely encountered such a horrible case, according to media reports.

“Nineteen years I’ve been in this job,” Sisco said. “I’ve seen human beings killed by the hands of others in every way imaginable. This is the worst case I have ever seen. I know I will be haunted for the rest of my life.”

Oneal, who represented himself during much of the trial and frequently yelled at the jury, spoke at length at the sentencing hearing. He had contended he acted in self-defense and underwent a psychiatric evaluation that declared him mentally fit for trial.

“At first I want to say I’m not sorry for the things I didn’t do, and I’m not sorry for the things I did do,” Oneal said, turning to Barron family members. “But I will say I’m sorry for your loss.”

Barron’s mother, Carrie Lloyd, was unsparing in her comments in court.

“I wish you would have gotten the death penalty,” Lloyd said. “Every action has a reaction, and the reaction to your actions is going to be sitting in your prison cell for the rest of your life with your thoughts.”

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