Man accused of killing wife, daughter, tries to block son's testimony

- Murder defendant Ronnie O'Neal was anxious to be heard Wednesday regarding his handwritten letter to Hillsborough Circuit Judge Christopher Nash.

Judge Nash warned O'Neal: Don't say too much.

"Mr. O'Neal, I don't want you to say that. It's against your interest," said Judge Nash.

In the letter, O'Neal wrote a list of grievances and his demands, including a change of venue and a speedy trial, which concerned prosecutor Ron Gale.

"In this letter, Mr. O'Neal writes, 'I am demanding a speedy trial' and the state's concern is that some appellate court may, at some point, view this as an affirmative demand for a speedy trial," explained Gale.

O'Neal is accused of killing the mother of his children, Kenyatta Barron, as well as his 11-year-old daughter. He's also accused of nearly killing his 9-year-old son.

Court records show, during the attack, Kenyatta Barron called 911, begging for her life and saying she had been shot.

Barron's words to the dispatcher are now her testimony.

O'Neal now wants to make sure the son who survived the attack won't be able to testify in person.

"The state is using my child as a material witness... I am protecting my child from any interrogations from law enforcement," O'Neal wrote.

Court records show the 9-year-old  had been stabbed him multiple times and then left for dead. He had a collapsed lung, his intestines were exposed, and he had burns over 20 percent of his body.

He was able, however, to tell paramedics, "my dad shot my mom."

O'Neal's defense attorney asked the judge for more time to prepare an argument on the letter.

A hearing on the matter has been set for Thursday afternoon.

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