Haskell collapses in Texas court as details of Texas murder read

Reuters News
Posted: Jul 11, 2014 10:58 AM

By Erwin Seba

HOUSTON (Reuters) - The man accused of fatally shooting four children aged 4 to 14 and their parents after entering their suburban Houston home while looking for his former wife collapsed when details of the murder scene were read in court on Friday.

Ronald Lee Haskell, 33, who is being held without bond, was in court for a procedural hearing after being charged on Thursday with capital murder and multiple murders. Capital murder can bring the death penalty in Texas.

Haskell said "Yes, sir" after his rights were read and then collapsed as details of the crime were listed in the court. Bailiffs had to pick him up and wheel him out in an office chair.

Haskell is accused of killing two boys ages 4 and 14, two girls ages 7 and 9, and their parents Stephen Stay, 39, and Katie, 33. Five of them were found dead and one of the children died after being flown to a hospital for treatment. A 15-year-old daughter survived the attack, the Harris County Sheriff's Office said.

Authorities said he went to the Stay home looking for his former wife, who is related to the victims, and held the children at gunpoint until their parents returned. He then brought all seven family members into a room and shot them, killing all except the teenage girl, police said.

The suspect's former wife did not live at the house and was not harmed in the incident.

FedEx said in a statement that Haskell was once employed by a contractor used by the shipping company but had not worked for that company since January.

(Writing by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Peter Cooney)