Convicted Riverview killer Ronnie Oneal opts for legal help during death penalty phase

Hillsborough County

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Ronnie Oneal III is enlisting legal help for the death penalty phase of his trial.

The 32-year-old was found guilty after acting as his own attorney during his trial for the deaths of his 33-year-old girlfriend, Kenyatta Barron, and 9-year-old daughter Ron’Niveya Oneal.

“I did kill Kenyatta Barron,” Oneal admitted to jurors during closing arguments, saying it was an act of self-defense.

“His whole demeanor throughout that case really hurt him,” said longtime trial attorney Anthony Rickman.

Rickman said any trained attorney would have quickly objected to the testimony and evidence and autopsy photos shown during the trial.

“You can’t just enter in videos or photos with the intent of inflaming the jury,” Rickman told 8 On Your Side.

Rickman said Oneals actions during the trial can’t be corrected and will likely affect his chance at an appeal.

“He waives that right, so, if it’s not raised through the course of the trial, it’s waived,” Rickman explained.

The sentencing phase of Oneal’s trial is set to start Wednesday morning.

Oneal has opted for attorneys to represent him throughout the remainder of the case.

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