Prosecutor: Man Accused of Killing 6 'Fueled by Vengeance' - NBC Southern California
National & International News
The day’s top national and international news

Prosecutor: Man Accused of Killing 6 'Fueled by Vengeance'

"This was a plan created in anger and fueled by vengeance," the prosecutor said

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Prosecutor: Man Accused of Killing 6 'Fueled by Vengeance'

    A Texas prosecutor says a 39-year-old man killed six members of his ex-wife's family as part of a plan to harm anyone who had helped the woman. (Published Monday, Aug. 26, 2019)

    A man traveled from California to suburban Houston in 2014 and stalked his ex-wife's family for two days before killing six of them as part of his plan to harm anyone who had helped his former spouse, a Texas prosecutor told jurors Monday.

    Harris County prosecutor Samantha Knecht made the assertion during opening statements in the capital murder trial of Ronald Lee Haskell. Knecht added that Haskell created a meticulous plot in which he would kill his ex-wife's entire family.

    "This was a plan created in anger and fueled by vengeance," said Knecht.

    Haskell's defense attorney, Douglas Durham, told jurors that Haskell was not responsible for his actions because before the shooting, he had "spiraled down into very severe mental illness."

    Astronauts Make History With NASA's First All-Female Spacewalk

    [NATL] Astronauts Make History With NASA's First All-Female Spacewalk

    American astronauts Jessica Meir and Christina Koch made history Friday with NASA's first all-female spacewalk. The astronauts walked outside the International Space Station to replace a faulty battery.

    (Published Friday, Oct. 18, 2019)

    Knecht told the jury that Haskell's marriage had ended after accusations of domestic violence and that his ex-wife and his children had moved to Texas to be with her family.

    As he lived with his parents in California, Haskell hatched a plan to go to Texas and harm his ex-wife's family, the prosecutor said.

    From California, Haskell stopped in Utah and stole a gun from an ex-girlfriend. He also bought over 200 rounds of ammunition, according to Knecht.

    South Philly Explosions Seen from Inside the Facility

    [NATL-PHI] Philadelphia Refinery Explosions Seen From Facility Cameras

    Cameras inside the Philadelphia Energy Solutions refinery caught on video the massive blasts early June 21 from just yards away. Here is what explosions of hundreds of thousands of pounds of explosive chemicals looks like up close. The video is from Philadelphia Energy Solutions, via the U.S. Chemical Safety Board.

    (Published Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019)

    On the day of the shooting, Haskell posed as a FedEx driver and made his way into the home of Stephen and Katie Stay -- his ex-wife's sister. The couple's five children were alone at the time and he held them at gunpoint until their parents returned, Knecht said.

    After Stephen and Katie Stay returned to their Houston-area home, Haskell fatally shot the couple along with four of their children, ranging in ages from 4 to 13 years. The couple's oldest daughter, then-15-year-old Cassidy Stay, was also shot in the head but she survived by playing dead.

    After Haskell left, Knecht said the girl called police to warn that Haskell intended to go to her grandparents' house next.

    Tentative Deal Reached Between UAW and GM

    [NATL] Tentative Deal Reached Between UAW and GM

    A tentative deal between General Motors and the United Auto Workers has been reached and could bring an end to a strike which began in September.

    (Published Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019)

    Haskell, 39, took the Stays' vehicle and was near the home of his ex-wife's parents when police cornered him. He then tried going to the home of his ex-wife's brother before officers eventually took him into custody.

    Jurors on Monday also heard the 911 call from Cassidy Stay.

    In the call, Cassidy can be heard yelling and crying as she tells an operator that "my entire family has been shot." She named Haskell as the shooter and, at one point, described how one of her family members was gasping for breath.

    Prosecutors say Cassidy Stay was expected to testify this week.

    Lt. B. Gheen, with the Harris County Precinct 4 Constable's Office, described the scene at the home when he first arrived as frantic with "lots of blood, bodies lying on the ground."

    Durham said that Haskell admits to killing the six but said he was severely mentally ill and didn't know his actions were wrong.

    Death Toll, Damages Climb From Typhoon Hagibis

    [NATL] Death Toll, Damages Climb From Typhoon Hagibis

    The death toll from Typhoon Hagibis climbed to 53 on Tuesday, days after it tore through Japan and left hundreds of thousands of homes wrecked, flooded or out of power. Hagibis caused more than 200 rivers to overflow when it hit the island nation on Saturday.

    (Published Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019)

    Haskell was a "very troubled and sick individual" who heard voices telling him that his family would return to him if he killed the Stays, Durham said.

    Haskell had been hospitalized at least six times and had received inconsistent medical treatment but was trying to get help, Durham said.

    Throughout Monday's proceedings, Haskell kept looking down at the floor. Durham later told reporters that Haskell is medicated and sedated.

    Durham declined to comment when asked if Haskell was remorseful.

    Testimony was to resume on Tuesday. The trial could last up to two months.

    Haskell faces the death penalty if convicted of capital murder.