Suspected Stay Family Killer Awaits Psychiatric Evaluation
Photo from the Harris County Sheriff's Office
Ronald Lee Haskell, who allegedly killed six former in-laws in Spring, Texas, stayed out of sight for Monday's status meeting between his attorney and the prosecutor, the Chron reports.
In his last court appearance on July 11, Haskell dramatically collapsed upon hearing the charges against him. According to the Harris County Sheriff's Office, Haskell posed as a FedEx deliveryman to enter the house of former sister-in-law Katie Stay. Authorities say he then bound all members of the family, interrogated them about the whereabouts of his ex-wife, and shot them execution-style.
Cassidy Stay, 15, survived by playing dead and called 911, helping police detain Haskell shortly after the attack on her house on July 9.
Monday's meeting between the attorneys lasted about an hour, according to the Chron. Haskell's court appointed lawyer, Doug Durham, told reporters he has asked for mental evaluations of his client because Haskell has a reported history of mental illness. Authorities say Haskell also has a track record of domestic violence against his ex-wife, Melanie Lyons.
Durham also asked for any information prosecutors have gathered regarding DNA and ballistics reports, but the district attorney's office has not yet completed its investigation. The next court date has been set for September 30. Durham said that as with all capital murder cases, it may be a year before Haskell actually sees trial. In the meantime, he'll earn credit for time spent in jail.
Cassidy Stay attracted international support in the wake of her family's murder. The Spring community rallied around her and her surviving grandparents the day of the Stay family funeral, posting signs across town reading, "Stay Strong." Cassidy recuperated quickly from a gunshot wound and appeared at a memorial service only days after her family's murders, surprising attendees by quoting a message of hope from Harry Potter, "Happiness can be found in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light."