TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A Hillsborough County jury is now being asked to decide if convicted killer Ronnie Oneal will be sentenced to life in prison or death.
The same jury on Monday found Oneal guilty of all charges against him in a 2018 double murder. Oneal, who acted as his own attorney during the trial, was convicted of killing his girlfriend Kenyatta Barron and their disabled daughter, and trying to kill his son.
The penalty phase started Wednesday. Oneal, who is facing the death penalty, has opted to allow his court-appointed attorneys to represent him for this phase.
Assistant State Attorney Scott Harmon told the jury on Wednesday that the murders were particularly brutal.
“The last few moments that she lived on this earth were spent suffering, the evidence will show,” Harmon said. “Suffering.”
The defense argued that Oneal was shot just one year before the murders. They also said he was raped as a child and, as a result, suffers from PTSD.
Defense attorney Dana Herce-Fulgueira asked each juror to consider all of the factors individually.
“It’s a personal decision because a human life is at stake,” said Herce-Fulgueira.
In testimony on Wednesday during the penalty phase, Kenyatta Barron’s mother told the jury she feels the loss of her daughter and granddaughter every day.
“There has been a hole in my life ever since that horrible night,” Carrie Lloyd said.
The jury is expected to hear lengthy testimony from a psychologist who examined Oneal before they make their final decision on his fate.