Cassidy Stay takes the stand in trial of man she watched kill her family
SPRING, Texas - The lone survivor of a massacre took the stand to testify against her uncle who, admittedly, shot and killed her entire family. Cassidy Stay was just 15 when her parents and four siblings were killed inside their Spring home back in July 2014. She was also shot in the head that day and survived after pretending to be dead.
At least two jurors wiped tears as, now 20-year-old Cassidy told them her uncle Ronnie came to their Spring home, she answered the door and he pulled a gun on her. She says although she begged him not to hurt her family, he ultimately killed her parents and all four her siblings that summer day.
"It was just 'boom, boom, boom, boom' all in a row," Cassidy explained to the jury as she, in detail, described how her uncle Ron Haskell carried out a massacre inside her home in Spring, murdering her entire family.
Cassidy says Haskell arrived at their house wearing dark sunglasses, a hat and a FedEx uniform when she opened the front door of their Spring home believing they had a package delivery. Haskell was her Aunt Melanie's ex-husband. Prosecutors say Melanie divorced Haskell after years of abuse. He is said to have arrived at the Stay's home with a pillow wrapped in duct tape to use as a silencer.
Attorneys for Haskell claim he was insane, was led by voices and didn't know he was doing wrong, but Cassidy testified Haskell told her he knew where her family had been that day. In fact, prosecutors say Haskell stalked his in-laws and had a plan to murder as many of his ex-wife's family members as possible.
Prosecuting attorneys say Haskell knew exactly what he was doing when he drove from California, stole an ex-girlfriends 9mm gun in Utah and continued to Texas, where they say he studied his in-laws' every move.
Katie Stay's sister Auriele Lyon took the stand saying shortly after her sister Melanie divorced Haskell and moved back to Texas with the kids, she says she heard Haskell on the phone with his son.
"He asked about my schedule and about childcare for my son. I was scared. There was no reason for him to have that information," Auriele told the jury.
During Cassidy's testimony, she told jurors Haskell counted all seven of her family members, making sure they were all in the room just before he opened fire on them. She says her mom jumped up and wrestled with Haskell, attempting to save her family, but was unsuccessful.
She says at one point, she prayed to God and Haskell mocked her, asking, "Oh, what did he say?"
Cassidy told jurors Haskell did not appear to be led by or speaking to anyone. She says he seemed very much in control, waiting to knock on the door right after her parents left to go to the bank. She says he pulled a gun on her and forced all of the children into the living room.
"I reminded him of all of our names and ages, telling him Zachary was only 4. I tried to talk with him and appeal to his humanity," Cassidy told jurors.
Once her parents returned home, she says her mom lost control of her bladder at the sight of Haskell inside her home. Cassidy explained how Haskell forced her parents onto the living room floor at gunpoint and one by one shot all seven of them.
Prosecutors say Haskell went to his ex-wife's parents' house and her brother's home after shooting the Stay family, but he was stopped and arrested by deputies before he could hurt anyone else.