TAMPA, Fla (WFLA) – The family of Kenyatta Barron, the girlfriend who was killed by convicted murderer Ronnie Oneal, spoke Friday night after the jury recommendation for life in prison was announced.
“He’s going to be so miserable behind those bars he will wish he was dead,” said Carrie Lloyd, Kenyatta’s mother.
Lloyd was filled with emotion after the jury recommendation was read.
“I am empty. I am empty without my granddaughter and my daughter,” added Lloyd.
Kenyatta’s sister also spoke, saying while this isn’t what they thought would happen, it was a win.
“He has to live with his thoughts, he has to live with what he did,” said Kenyatta’s sister.
Ronnie Oneal was convicted on two counts of first-degree murder for the 2018 deaths of his girlfriend, 33-year-old Kenyatta Barron, and their disabled 9-year-old daughter Ron’Niveya Oneal.
Oneal was found guilty on all charges against him Monday. The jury delivered that verdict swiftly after less than five hours of deliberation.
The same jury that found Ronnie Oneal guilty earlier this week in the 2018 murders of his girlfriend and daughter, as well as the attempted murder of his son, recommended Friday that the convicted killer serve life in prison without parole.
The 12-person jury spent about three hours deliberating Friday about whether to recommend the death penalty.
The deliberations came after the jury heard from family members of the victims, Oneal’s family members, a psychologist, state prosecutors and defense attorneys the past few days. Oneal had acted as his own attorney during his trial, but opted to allow his court-appointed attorneys to represent him for the penalty phase, which started Wednesday.
The sentencing hearing for Ronnie Oneal is scheduled for next month.