Raging husband ‘executed his ex-wife’s sister and her four young kids one-by-one after they bravely refused to reveal where she was hiding’ – The Sun
AN EX-HUSBAND methodically executed his sister-in-law, her husband and their four young children one by one after they bravely refused to reveal where his wife was hiding.
Ronald Lee Haskell, 39, is pleading insanity as he faces trial for stalking and killing the family while dressed as a FedEx deliveryman in 2014.
The 39-year-old was on the hunt for his wife, Melannie Lyon, who had left him after allegedly suffering years of emotional and physical abuse.
Ms Lyon had sought refuge in her sister's home.
On July 9, Haskall forced his way into the family home north of Houston, Texas.
He then forced his three nieces – Cassidy, 15, Emily, 9, Rebecca, 7 – and two nephews – Bryan, 13, and Zach, 4 – to the ground.
When their parents – Stephen and Katie Stay – returned home he lined the family up in a row on the ground and demanded they tell him where his ex-wife was hiding.
When they refused, he shot them all one by one.
Six of the seven family members were killed.
She heard a drip [and] realised it was her sister’s blood dropping on to the floor.
Eldest child Cassidy, 15, told police she pretended to be dead and waited until her uncle left before calling 911.
The now 19-year-old recounted “she heard a drip” and “realised it was her sister’s blood dropping on to the floor”, the Houston Chronicle reported.
Police arrested and charged Haskell with one count of capital murder for each of the six victims after a tense standoff.
His long-awaited trail began on Monday with the defence arguing he was “twisted and severely ill” at the time of the murders.
However, prosecutors contend that the massacre was premeditated, and Haskell travelled from California to Houston with the plan to kill as many people as he could.
Police agreed, saying he planned to continue on to his ex-wife's parents home if he had not been stopped by authorities on the way there.
Samantha Knecht, a prosecutor with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, said: “The credible evidence will show you that this was not a case about someone who was insane.
"This, rather, was a plan that was created in anger and fueled by vengeance.”
This was not a case about someone who was insane … This, rather, was a plan that was created in anger and fueled by vengeance.
A police statement heard in court, read: “Posing as a parcel delivery driver, Haskell forced entry into the home, holding multiple juvenile victims at gunpoint.
“Haskell held the juveniles at gunpoint until additional family members returned to the home. During the incident, Haskell opened fire on the family, killing six and wounding one.
“Stephen and Katie Stay, along with four juvenile victims, were killed during the confrontation.”
The court also heard Haskell stopped at a fast food restaurant to grab a drink after committing the murders.
In court, Haskell was dressed in a suit and tie and cleanly shaved.
He listened intently as law enforcement officers and paramedics described walking into the family home with five dead bodies and frantically trying to save the youngest daughter, Rebecca, who was fighting for her life.
Katie’s father Roger Lyon said the family was “amazing and resilient”.
In a statement read in court, he said: “Stephen and Katie Stay and their beautiful children were an amazing and resilient family.
“They lived to help others, both at church and in their neighbourhood. We love them beyond words.
“Cassidy Stay, 15, who survived the attack, is expected to make a full recovery. We are grateful for this miracle. We are in awe of her bravery and courage in calling 911, an act that is likely to have saved all of our lives.
“She is our hero.”
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