Double-Murder Suspect Represents Himself, Screams at Jurors During Wild Opening Statement
This is definitely not the way you want to kick off a double-murder trial—especially when you're the suspect.
Not only is Ronnie O'Neal III the suspect in a trial where he is being accused of killing nearly his entire family back in 2018, but he is also his own legal team as he has elected to represent himself in his own murder trial.
O'neal is facing two counts of murder for allegedly killing his girlfriend and his daughter, as well as one count of attempted murder on his son, who barely survived the attack and is scheduled to testify in the trial.
The 32-year-old Riverview man shouted at jurors during parts of his opening statement.
When it was the prosecution's turn, they began by playing the 911 call from O'neal's girlfriend as she pleaded for her life. According to the state, by the time she called 911 she had already been shot and while she was on the emergency call, O'neal could be heard in the background beating her with a shotgun.
According to the investigators in the case, after killing his girlfriend Kenyatta, O'neal then "brutally murdered" his 9-year-old daughter before trying to stab his then 8-year-old son Ronnie IV to death. O'neal then allegedly set his son and the house on fire.
The evidence will show that that was just the beginning of what happened and it's just the beginning of what became an odyssey for this little boy, an odyssey of violence an odyssey of brutality and an odyssey of excruciating pain. Because the evidence will show little Ronnie didn't just witness this murder and other bloody crimes this night, but little Ronnie suffered as a victim of a crime himself.
Ronnie IV barely survived the wild attack and investigators said the first thing he told detectives when he made it out of the house was that his "daddy" killed his "mommy."
[Detectives] 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. They will you the first words that came out of this brave boy's mouth: 'My daddy killed my mommy,'"
Representing himself, O'neal told a different story.
The evidence is going to show my son did not see me murder his mom. The evidence is going to show he did not see me shoot his mom. The evidence is going to show my son said many things that are not true.
O'neal raised his voice several times throughout his opening remarks, at times with a rage that almost seemed to come out of nowhere in the middle of his sentences.
His son, Ronnie IV is now 11 years old and expected to testify at some point later during the trial. You can see the full story and videos via FOX 13 here.