For about 20 minutes in a Tampa courtroom on Wednesday, a jury listened to an 11-year-old boy describe what he survived three years ago: hearing his mother hit with a shotgun blast, seeing his sister stabbed in the head with an ax, and then feeling himself get soaked in gasoline and lit on fire.
His father, Ronnie Oneal III, is charged with committing these crimes. After the 11-year-old’s harrowing testimony to prosecutors, Oneal himself got up to directly question him about it.
“Did I hurt you the night of this incident?” Oneal asked the boy, Ronnie Oneal IV.
“Yes,” the child replied. “You stabbed me.”
It was an unusual moment in an unusual trial. Hillsborough Circuit Judge Michelle Sisco allowed Oneal to represent himself in his murder trial this week, determining that he was mentally fit, educated enough and understood the consequences of such a decision, the Tampa Bay Times reported.