Sept. 27 (UPI) — A jury on Thursday found a Houston-area man guilty of capital murder for killing a couple and four of their five children in 2014.
The Harris County jury spent 8 hours deliberating the fate of Ronald Haskell, 39. Prosecutors said he dressed in a FedEx outfit to gain access to the Spring, Texas, home of his former sister-in-law, Katie Stay, and her husband, Stephen Stay. He held the children at gunpoint until their parents arrived home.
Haskell shot each family member after demanding to know the whereabouts of his ex-wife.
One of the children, Cassidy Stay, then 15 years old, survived a gunshot wound to the head. She called police once Haskell left, prompting police to intercept him at a second location. He surrendered after a brief slow-speed chase and hours-long standoff.
The rest of the Stay family, including Bryan, 13, Emily, 9, Rebecca, 7, and Zach, 4, died in the massacre.
Haskell’s defense team said their client was mentally ill at the time of the incident and didn’t understand what he was doing. Prosecutors said he was abusive toward his ex-wife for more than a decade.
“We are grateful for the jurors’ rapt attention over the last many weeks to every piece of evidence in the case,” Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said. “There was never a reasonable doubt that Haskell meticulously planned and carried out the slaughter of the Stay family.”