Surviving tragedy: Adopted family helps Riverview 7-year-old move forward after brutal slaying of mom, sister

Hillsborough County

Watch Jeff Patterson’s full report including exclusive interviews with little Ronnie and his adopted family here.

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Ronnie Oneal III caught the attention of the Tampa Bay area and the nation with his antics in court earlier this year as he insisted on acting as his own attorney in his double murder trial.

Oneal screamed at jurors during his opening statement and again during his closing arguments.

When it was over, jurors convicted Oneal of killing his girlfriend Kenyatta Barron and his daughter Ron’niveya, and of the attempted murder of his son.

At the time of the murders, his son Ronnie was just 7 years old. His father stabbed him and set him on fire. It took months for him to recover, but Ronnie survived.

While he was in the hospital, young Ronnie met Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office Detective Mike Blair, and the two formed a bond.

A guardian who supervised little Ronnie’s case eventually asked Blair if he knew anyone who could take him in because needed a place to stay. Not long after, Blair and his wife Danyell decided to take Ronnie into their home.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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