Where is Ronnie O'Neal Now?

January 22, 2024

TAMPA -- Loved ones of the woman and child killed in 2018 were in court to watch as a Hillsborough County judge handed down life without parole Friday for Ronnie O'Neal. It comes after a jury convicted him of brutally killing girlfriend Kenyatta Barron and their daughter Ron'Niveya O'Neal at their Riverview home. He also attempted to kill his 8-year-old son, who survived the rampage and testified against his father in his murder trial.

O'Neal was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted first-degree murder, along with aggravated child abuse and arson. The jury deliberated just over four hours Monday.

During the penalty phase of his trial, jurors heard from family members who described years of physical and emotional abuse of O'Neal by extended relatives, including sexual abuse when he was 5. They told jurors he never received any treatment for the trauma.

During his opening statement, O'Neal represented himself in court, at times screaming at the jurors as he tried to craft a defense against the disturbing evidence and testimony against him. He claimed the evidence showed that law enforcement tampered with the investigation and manipulated witnesses to meet their high burden of proof. He said he was a good man who was trying to raise a good family. O'Neal also said he was a hard-working father and that his wife, who worked in a bank, helped him provide for them and made a nice home for the children.


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