Boy who survived Riverview killings still in ICU, record describes injuries

Ronnie Oneal III, 29, appears in court March 20 to face charges in a fatal attack at his Riverview home. Oneal was ordered held without bail. [PAUL GUZZO   |   Times]
Ronnie Oneal III, 29, appears in court March 20 to face charges in a fatal attack at his Riverview home. Oneal was ordered held without bail. [PAUL GUZZO | Times]
Published April 2, 2018

TAMPA — Two weeks after he survived a monstrous attack that killed his mother and sister, an 8-year-old Riverview boy is still in serious condition at a Tampa General Hospital intensive care unit, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said.

His father remains in jail without bail on charges of murder, attempted murder and arson.

The boy, Ronnie Oneal IV, emerged from a crime scene March 18 with injuries more extensive than those initially described by deputies, according to a search warrant filed in Hillsborough Circuit Court.

His lung had collapsed, his intestines were exposed and burns covered nearly 20 percent of his body, the warrant said, citing the medical director for the county's Child Protection Team.

The record offers the most disturbing account yet of the violence inflicted upon the boy, his 9-year-old sister Ron'Niveya Oneal, and their 33-year-old mother, Kenyatta Barron, at their home on Pike Lake Drive.

The search warrant was requested two days after the killings, as Detective Moises Garcia sought a judge's permission to obtain DNA from the father, 29-year-old Ronnie Oneal III. Garcia informed the judge that Oneal had not yet been granted a shower and investigators intended to swab his mouth and genitals.

While the court record describes in detail the injuries inflicted upon the children and their mother, one passage that appears to relate to the attack on the girl was redacted by court officials, who cited a public records exemption that pertains to victims of child abuse or sexual offenses.

The cause of her death is not stated. Her listed injuries included profound neck trauma and multiple knife wounds, even one on the sole of her foot.

Throughout the house and garage, investigators found three spent shotgun cartridges, a knife blade broken off at its handle, multiple locations fouled by blood and gasoline, and evidence that victims had been shot, stabbed or bludgeoned, or in the case of the mother, all three. She had knife wounds and a gunshot wound, but died of head trauma, the detective wrote, citing a medical examiner. She had multiple skull fractures.

Only the boy survived, finding the voice to tell paramedics, "My dad shot my mom."

Barron, the mother, had been calling 911 about domestic disturbances at the home for years, Sheriff's Office records reflect. The couple fought about money. They fought about Oneal being there when she didn't want him to be. They fought about him using Barron's car without her consent. It was her car but he had paid for it, and he did all the work on it, Oneal had told the deputies on May 25, 2015.

"After arguing over the car back and forth, Ronnie Oneal took out the car jack and threw it into the windshield and stated if he couldn't drive the car, no one can," the deputy wrote, relating Barron's story.

Keep up with Tampa Bay’s top headlines

Keep up with Tampa Bay’s top headlines

Subscribe to our free DayStarter newsletter

We’ll deliver the latest news and information you need to know every morning.

You’re all signed up!

Want more of our free, weekly newsletters in your inbox? Let’s get started.

Explore all your options

That day, the deputy saw no domestic violence and called the alleged crime "misdemeanor criminal mischief."

Records show Barron accepted a request-for-prosecution form from the deputy, but she never submitted it.

Staff writers Anastasia Dawson and Dan Sullivan contributed to this report. Contact Patty Ryan at