Ronnie Oneal III, a man who went viral after giving a speech in court while acting as his own lawyer last week, has been found guilty of multiple charges, including two counts of murder, attempted murder, arson and child abuse.
According to a Monday report (June 21) from the Tampa Bay Times, a jury has found Oneal guilty on two charges of first-degree murder for the March 2018 killings of his girlfriend and their daughter, who was only nine at the time. He was also convicted on a charge of attempted murder for stabbing their then-8-year-old son, a charge of arson for setting their house on fire and two more charges of aggravated child abuse.
Prosecutors say Oneal shot his girlfriend, Kenyatta Barron, in the shoulder with a shotgun before she ran outside and onto her neighbors’ yard. It was then, prosecutors say, that Oneal beat her with the shotgun. After that, they say that he re-entered their home and ragged his daughter, who suffered from cerebral palsy, from her bed before attacking her with a hatchet before cutting his son with a knife and pouring gasoline around their house and setting it on fire. Barron and their daughter died of their injuries, and their son has been adopted by one of the homicide detectives assigned to work this case.
For his part, Oneal insisted that he defended himself during the trial, and he claimed that he ‘d shot Barron after she attacked both of their children. As part of his defense, he also claimed that government officials altered the evidence so that it would work against him.
Although Oneal acted as his own attorney, three public defenders were standing nearby and it’s being reported that they whispered advice to him at points during the trial. Before court adjourned for the day, the judge advised Oneal to have a trained lawyer represent him, but he apparently didn’t make a decision at that moment.
Now that he’s been convicted of several charges, prosecutors are reportedly looking to seek the death penalty for Oneal.
When the church doors open, only white people will be allowed inside.
That’s the message the Asatru Folk Assembly in Murdock, Minnesota, is sending after being granted a conditional use permit to open a church there and practice its pre-Christian religion that originated in northern Europe.
Despite a council vote officially approving the permit this month, residents are pushing back against the decision.
Opponents have collected about 50,000 signatures on an online petition to stop the all-white church from making its home in the farming town of 280 people.
“I think they thought they could fly under the radar in a small town like this, but we’d like to keep the pressure on them,” said Peter Kennedy, a longtime Murdock resident. “Racism is not welcome here.”
Many locals said they support the growing population of Latinos, who have moved to the area in the past decade because of job opportunities, over the church.
“Just because the council gave them a conditional permit does not mean that the town and people in the area surrounding will not be vigilant in watching and protecting our area,” Jean Lesteberg, who lives in the neighboring town of De Graff, wrote on the city’s Facebook page.
The Southern Poverty Law Center describes Asatru Folk Assembly as a “neo-Volkisch hate group” that couches “their bigotry in baseless claims of bloodlines grounding the superiority of one’s white identity.”
Many residents call them a white supremacist or white separatist group, but church members deny it.
“We’re not. It’s just simply not true,” said Allen Turnage, a folk assembly board member. “Just because we respect our own culture, that doesn’t mean we are denigrating someone else’s.”
The group, based in Brownsville, California, says teachings and membership are for those of strictly European bloodlines.
The church was looking for a new church in the eastern North Dakota region when they came across Murdock. It’s unknown how many members they have worldwide or how many people will attend the new church.
“We do not need salvation. All we need is freedom to face our destiny with courage and honor,” the group wrote on its website about their beliefs. “We honor the Gods under the names given to them by our Germanic/Norse ancestors.”
Their forefathers, according to the website, were “Angels and Saxons, Lombards and Heruli, Goths and Vikings, and, as sons and daughters of these people, they are united by ties of blood and culture undimmed by centuries.”
“We respect the ways our ancestors viewed the world and approached the universe a thousand years ago,” Turnage said.
Murdock council members said they do not support the church but were legally obligated to approve the permit, which they did in a 3-1 decision.
“We were highly advised by our attorney to pass this permit for legal reasons to protect the First Amendment rights,” Mayor Craig Kavanagh said. “We knew that if this was going to be denied, we were going to have a legal battle on our hands that could be pretty expensive.”
City Attorney Don Wilcox said it came down to free speech and freedom of religion.
“I think there’s a great deal of sentiment in the town that they don’t want that group there,” he said. “You can’t just bar people from practicing whatever religion they want or saying anything they want as long as it doesn’t incite violence.”
The farming town about a 115-mile drive west of Minneapolis is known for producing corn and soybeans, which are shipped across the country. Latinos make up about 20 percent of Murdock’s small population. Many are day laborers from Mexico and Central America, city officials said.
“We’re a welcoming community,” Kennedy said, rejecting the Asatru Folk Assembly’s exclusionary beliefs. “That’s not at all what the people of Murdock feel. Nobody had a problem with the Hispanics here.”
The AFA purchased its building this year on property in a residential zone. Constructed as a Lutheran church before the zoning was changed, it was later converted to a private residence. The folk assembly needed the permit to convert the residence back to a church.
“It’s ironic the city council didn’t want to commit discrimination against the church, but the church is discriminating against Blacks,” said Abigail Suiter, 33, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. “It’s very telling of where the priority is and whose lives matter.”
Prominent lawyers disagree on the council’s options heading into the vote. Some of the debate centered on the federal Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, which protects religious institutions and churches from unduly burdens and discriminatory land-use regulations.
Laurence H. Tribe, a constitutional law professor at Harvard University, said the council might have been able to prevent the private sale of the property, had it known about it, through laws focused on forbidding racial discrimination in property transactions.
“No institution that proposes to exclude people on account of race is allowed to run an operation in the state of Minnesota,” Tribe said.
Kavanagh said he stands by the council vote “for legal reasons only.”
“The biggest thing people don’t understand is, because we’ve approved this permit, all of a sudden everyone feels this town is racist, and that isn’t the case,” he said. “Just because we voted yes doesn’t mean we’re racist.”
A man who sued the maker of Canada Dry ginger ale, claiming the brand falsely implied its soda had health benefits, is now $200,000 richer.
The maker of Canada Dry ginger ale settled a class-action false-advertising lawsuit filed by British Columbia man Victor Cardoso, who claimed to have spent years buying the carbonated beverage for his family thinking it had medicinal benefits based on its label promoting it as “Made from Real Ginger” and “Natural,” CTV News reported.
Canada Dry Mott’s agreed to pay $200,000 plus $18,607 in disbursements, even though the company “expressly denies liability and is not required to change its product labeling or advertising for products marketed in Canada,” court documents say.
The company also agreed it would no longer make claims that its ginger ale is “Made from Real Ginger” in class-action lawsuits also filed in the U.S., according to CTV News.
Cardoso argued in the lawsuit that Canada Dry’s product labeling aimed to “capitalize” on consumer’s perception of ginger and its health benefits, despite Canada Dry making no direct health benefit claims about the ginger ale.
“They do buy actual ginger, but then what they do is they boil it in ethanol, and that essentially destroys any nutritional or medicinal benefits,” Mark C. Canofari, a lawyer who represented Cardoso’s claim, said in a statement, according to CTV News.
Playboy’s pissed at Fashion Nova for rolling out new bunny costumes, just in time for Halloween, which it claims are plainly “an attempt to piggyback off the popularity and renown of Playboy’s iconic bunny costume.”
Translation: Quit bitin’ our bunny!
In docs, obtained by TMZ, Playboy says Fashion Nova completely ripped off its iconic costume — which includes cuffs, collar, bowtie, corset, ribbon name tag, bunny ears and tail — and is selling them as Halloween costumes on its website. According to the suit, Fashion Nova’s even using the description “Bunny of the Month,” which Playboy says is a clear reference to its Playmate of the Month trademark.
The warnings are the result of California’s efforts to bring gig economy companies in compliance with state labor law — a clash that threatened to come to a head this week.
An emergency stay granted Thursday by a California appeals court temporarily defused the situation, allowing Uber and Lyft to continue operating under their current model for the time being. But unless a resolution is reached, millions of Californians who use Uber and Lyft to hail rides may yet find themselves forced to resort to other modes of transportation.
In early August, a San Francisco Superior Court judge ordered the companies to classify their drivers as employees rather than independent contractors, building in a 10-day window for the companies to appeal the move. With that window closing Thursday night, Uber and Lyft had threatened to shut down services at midnight Thursday, saying they cannot transition their business models quickly enough. Lyft reiterated that threat in a blog post Thursday morning, saying: “This is not something we wanted to do.”
“Uber and Lyft are threatening to kill jobs in California. I believe the companies are trying to force us into a decision around giving them what they want, and that’s Prop. 22, which is to keep denying us basic labor protections and benefits we have earned,” said Cherri Murphy, a ride-hailing company driver for about three years. An Oakland resident, Murphy is also an organizer with labor groups Gig Workers Rising and Rideshare Drivers United, which have fought to win protections for drivers.
Uber pushed back on this assessment, saying many drivers prefer to remain independent contractors. “The vast majority of drivers want to work independently, and we’ve already made significant changes to our app to ensure that remains the case under California law. When over 3 million Californians are without a job, our elected leaders should be focused on creating work, not trying to shut down an entire industry during an economic depression,” Uber spokesman Davis White said in a statement.
“Fortunately, California voters can make their voices heard by voting yes on Prop. 22 in November,” Zimmer said, and if passed, the measure “would protect driver independence and flexibility, while providing historic new benefits and protections.”