TAMPA, Fla. - The trial of a Riverview man accused of murdering his girlfriend and daughter, then trying to kill his son, got off to an explosive start Monday.
Ronnie Oneal III, 32, is representing himself and shouted parts of his opening statement at the jury.
"The evidence is going to show that law enforcement tampered with evidence to meet their high burden of proof because originally it wasn't enough so [they] had to tamper with evidence," Oneal yelled.
Prosecutors, however, said the evidence is indisputable and the only person responsible for the violent attack on his family is Ronnie Oneal.
The state began its opening remarks by playing a 911 call made by Kenyatta Baron, Oneal's girlfriend, as she pleaded for her life. Prosecutors said, by then, she had already been shot and, while the recording continued, Oneal can be heard beating her with a shotgun.
"The evidence will show that that was just the beginning of what happened," said Assistant State Attorney Scott Harmon.
The state then took the jury step by step through, what prosecutors said, was Oneal's violent rampage in March 2018.
According to investigators, after killing Kenyatta, Oneal brutally murdered his 9-year-old daughter, Ron’Niveya, and tried to stab to death his 8-year-old son, Ronnie IV, before setting him 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," said Harmon, "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 attack.
Harmon told the jury the first thing Ronnie IV said to detectives when he made it out of the house.
"[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,'" Harmon said.
The defendant, however, told the jury 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," said Oneal, raising his voice several times.
The first day of the trial wrapped up after several detectives and neighbors testified.
Ronnie IV, who is now 11 years old and has a different last name, is expected to testify during the trial.