Cassidy Stay, 20, the sole survivor of massacre tells court how her ‘uncle’ murdered her whole family and left her for dead
Ronald Lee Haskell, 39, traveled from California Houston where he is accused of slaughtering six of his ex-wife’s family
Prosecutors allege Haskell wanted to hurt his ex-wife, Melannie Lyon’s family after their divorce
Haskell turned up to his former sister-in-law’s home in Houston in July 2014
He is accused of murdering the parents and four of their five children, aged 4-14
Stephen and Katie Stay were murdered along with their two sons Zach and Bryan, and two of their daughters Rebecca and Emily
The eldest, Cassidy is the sole surviving member of the family of seven
Cassidy Stay, then 15, survived being shot in the head, arm and leg, and testified on Tuesday
Haskell’s attorneys have said their client admits to the killings but wasn’t responsible because he was insane
Ronald Lee Haskell faces the death penalty, if convicted
Shooting survivor Cassidy Stay points out family member Ronald Haskell as the man who appeared at her front door before murdering her entire family in Houston 2014
Cassidy Stay told a Texas court yesterday that she didn’t recognize her ‘Uncle Ronnie’ – Ronald Lee Haskell – when he showed up dressed as a FedEx man to his former sister-in-law’s house in July 2014.
Prosecutors allege that Haskell, 39, had stalked his ex-wife’s family for two days before killing Stephen and Katie Stay and four of their five children, aged four to 14.
Cassidy, now 20, who survived being shot in the head, told jurors she begged her uncle, ‘please don’t hurt us’ and then played dead on the floor. Prosecutors allege Haskell wanted to hurt his ex-wife’s family after their divorce and hatched a plan in which he traveled over a thousand miles from California to Texas to execute an entire household.
Willful homicide or criminal insanity? Ronald Haskell arrives in court on Tuesday for his capital murder trial for the 2014 massacre of a family in Houston. He’s pleading diminished capacity on the grounds of insanity
Cassidy Stay reacts as a first responder tape is played during her testimony in Texas on Tuesday, relieving the heinous family tragedy
A teenage girl was pleading with her uncle, ‘Please don’t hurt us,’ before he shot dead her entire family and left her for dead in Houston, a court heard. Cassidy Stay, who was aged 15 at the time, told a Texas court yesterday that she didn’t recognize her ‘Uncle Ronnie’ – Ronald Lee Haskell – when he showed up dressed as a FedEx man to his former sister-in-law’s house in July 2014. Prosecutors allege that Haskell, 39, had stalked his ex-wife’s family for two days before killing Stephen and Katie Stay and four of their five children, aged four to 14.
Cassidy, now 20, who survived being shot in the head, told jurors she begged her uncle, ‘please don’t hurt us’ and then played dead on the floor. Prosecutors allege Haskell wanted to hurt his ex-wife’s family after their divorce and hatched a plan in which he traveled from California to Texas to carry it out.
Victims: Stephen and Katie Stay [center], were murdered along with their two sons Zach and Bryan [right], and two of their daughters Rebecca [second left], and Emily. The eldest, Cassidy, [left], is the sole surviving member of the family of seven. Haskell’s attorneys have said their client admits to the killings but wasn’t responsible because he was insane
Haskell is accused of killing Stephen and Katie Stay along with their two sons and two of their daughters, with only the eldest, Cassidy, surviving
Haskell’s attorneys have said their client admits to the killings but wasn’t responsible because he was insane.
Cassidy was taking care of her siblings while her parents ran errands when Haskell came to their home, posing as a FedEx delivery driver.
Cassidy, who didn’t recognize Haskell, first told him her parents weren’t home to sign for a package and he left. Haskell returned a few minutes later and then forced his way into the house.
Cassidy said when she realized who Haskell was, she told him, ‘Please don’t hurt us, because I knew how awful he was.’
His ex-wife Melannie Lyon had accused him of domestic violence when they lived in Utah and she and their four children moved to Houston after the divorce to be with her family.
Haskell then pulled out a gun and ordered Cassidy and her siblings – four-year-old Zach, seven-year-old Rebecca, nine-year-old Emily; and 13-year-old Bryan – to go into the living room.
Shooting survivor: Cassidy Stay, [left], under cross examination by Prosecutor Kaylynn Williford tells the court how she felt after being shot by Haskell
In court Monday prosecutor shows how Ronald Haskell’s 15-year-old shooting victim Cassidy Stay held her head while being shot during opening statements in the capital murder trial in the 2014 massacre of the Stay family
Cassidy said she focused on keeping her siblings calm. She had them watch a show on Netflix to keep them distracted.
Cassidy said she told Haskell each of her siblings’ names and ages as part of an ‘appeal to his humanity. I didn’t think someone would hurt kids.’
When her parents – 39-year-old Stephen and 34-year-old Katie – returned home, Haskell ordered them inside.
Haskell then had the family lie face down on the living room floor and took out his gun.
Cassidy said when her mother realized what Haskell was going to do, she jumped up and screamed ‘No’ and began to fight him. Haskell then shot her mother.
‘I just saw her fall,’ Cassidy Stay said. ‘I looked down and I covered my ears and I started screaming.’
Cassidy told the court she heard Haskell go down the line, in rapid succession, ‘boom, boom, boom,’ and shoot her family members.
Calculating, cold-blooded killer: Haskell, dressed in a FedEx t-shirt, was arrested after being cornered by police in Spring, Texas. The killer allegedly lined up his ex-wife’s family and walked down the line shooting each one in the head
In the heart wrenching opening arguments on Monday morning, prosecutors described a methodical execution of Katie and Stephen Stay, and four of their children.
Only daughter Cassidy Stay, then 15, survived a bullet wound to the head.
“She [Cassidy] can hear the shooting continue down the line. Emily. Bryan. And then another shot and Zachary stops crying,” said prosecutor Samantha Knecht. “They recovered 13 casings from the Stay living room. Thirteen. And that every one of those casings comes back to that 9mm that was found with the defendant when he was in custody.”
The first piece of evidence was Cassidy’s 911 call.
She can be heard telling operators her whole family is shot. She needs help. And when asked who shot her family, she told them the killer is her Uncle Ronnie.
Cassidy seen [second left], as caskets for her slain family are removed from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints after a funeral service for the Stay family on July 16, 2014, in Houston, Tex., was left to mourn her entire family aged 15
Cassidy Stay, then aged 15, was shot in the head but survived by playing dead.
Cassidy said she stopped screaming after a voice whispered in her ear to ‘be quiet’ and then she went limp after being shot in the hand and head.
The bullet ended up grazing her head and Cassidy pretended to be dead until Haskell left her home.
She then saw her father’s body and it was holding her brother Zach. It appeared that her father had tried to shield Zach from the gunfire, she said.
Cassidy said she then called 911. Authorities said Haskell planned to go to the homes of his ex-wife’s other family members and kill them as well.
Aurielle Lyon, one of Cassidy’s aunts, testified earlier Tuesday that after the shooting, she and other family members fled her parent’s Houston home, without shoes or diapers for their kids, because they feared Haskell was headed their way.
‘We were frantic,’ Aurielle Lyon said.
Haskell took the Stays’ vehicle and was near the home of his ex-wife’s parents when police cornered him. Officers took him into custody after a standoff lasting hours.
Katie Stay’s sister, Aurielle Lyon, breaks down in court after seeing a photo of the her sister Katie Stay’s clothing
“He’s sedated and he’s an individual that’s been treated for a severe mental illness,” said defense attorney Douglas Durham. “Texas has an insanity statute and if this isn’t a case where the evidence, a preponderance of the evidence, is going to show severe mental illness and he couldn’t distinguish right from wrong, I don’t know what case there is.”
Ronald Lee Haskell, has been charged with 6 counts of Capital Murder. His on trial for traveling to a Houston area home in North Harris County, demanding the whereabouts of his estranged wife. Posing as a parcel delivery driver, Haskell forced entry into the home, holding the children hostage before killing the parents as they returned home. he killed the children as well
He faces the death penalty, if convicted.
Haskell had previously been jailed in 2008 in Logan, Utah, about 80 miles north of Salt Lake City, on charges of assault and domestic violence.
He had a history of previous run-ins with law enforcement in Utah, where he had lived with his wife.
His ex Melannie Lyon complained to police he dragged her by her hair and repeatedly punched her in the head in front of their children.
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