Life without parole: Man convicted of killing girlfriend, daughter sentenced by jury

The jury in the Ronnie Oneal murder trial handed down a sentence of life in prison, without the possibility of parole Friday. The death penalty was a possibility in the case.

On Friday morning, closing arguments began for the penalty phase of the double-murder trial. Earlier this week, Oneal was convicted of murdering his girlfriend and their 9-year-old daughter – and attempting to kill his 8-year-old son in 2018. 

The sentencing phase of the trial began Wednesday with the prosecution urging the jury to consider the violence and carnage he inflicted on his family. They told the jury that Oneal should pay with his life for the crimes he committed. That afternoon, the jury heard from the victim’s family. Prosecutors called several members of Kenyatta Barron’s family, including her mother Carrie Lloyd, who said her daughter was a beautiful person and wonderful mother.

"There has been a hole in my life since this happened," said Lloyd.

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Oneal faced the death penalty, but his defense apparently won over the jurors to give him life in prison. His attornies in the sentencing portion of the trial spoke about the mental and physical abuse he suffered as a child. 

A psychologist testified that Oneal was diagnosed with PTSD and delusional disorder. 

Oneal’s mother, who wanted to protect her identity, also told the jury about a random drive-by shooting that nearly took Oneal’s life just months before the murders.

In Florida, the jury must be unanimous to hand down a sentence. The judge does have the option to amend the jury's decision. A final hearing on the sentencing will be held July 23 at 10 a.m.