HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — An 11-year-old boy, the son of Ronnie O’Neal and Kenyatta Barron, took the stand Wednesday in the trial of his father.
Ronnie O’Neal is accused of killing Baron, their 9-year-old daughter, and attempting to kill the then 8-year-old boy, who survived the March 18, 2018 attack in the family’s Riverview home.
He was the only witness to his mother’s and sister’s murders. The attack left him stabbed and severely burned.
The boy testified with a golden retriever by his side.
“He (Ronnie O’Neal) went in the garage,” the boy said. “I followed him. He put me on the ground. He had his foot on top of me. He was lighting a match, and he threw it down.”
With his arms crossed, the boy also said, “I saw my dad holding a shotgun and my mom screaming.”
During cross examination, Ronnie O’Neal, who is representing himself, found contradictions in his son’s testimony Wednesday versus what he told investigators three years ago.
“Did you see me beat your mom?” asked O’Neal.
“No.” testified O’Neal’s son.
“Did you see me shoot your mom?” O’Neal asked.
“No,” his son responded on the stand.
The boy turns 12 years old next week.
The State Attorney is seeking the death penalty in the case.
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