Trial begins for man charged with killing 6 members of Stay family

A 15-year-old girl who was shot in the head and whose entire family had just been murdered was able to call for help.  

Cassidy Stay's emotional 911 call was played in court this afternoon as testimony began in the murder trial for Ronald Haskell. You may remember it was back in July 2014 when the family of seven was gunned down inside their Spring home. The man who killed the family is now on trial.

Ronald Haskell admits he, one by one, shot all seven members of the Stay family. His victims included his former sister and brother and law and his five nieces and nephews.  Haskell’s attorneys claim insanity made him do it. 

"He was angry. He was mad,” countered Prosecuting Attorney Samantha Knecht. 

Prosecutors say it wasn't mental illness but murder when Haskell went to Stephen and Katie Stay’s Spring home, killed the couple and shot their five kids, ranging in age from 15 to 4.

"This was a plan created by anger, fueled by vengeance,” says Knecht.    

Katie Stay was sisters with Haskell’s ex-wife. He opened fire on the Stay family after his wife Melanie divorced him following what prosecutor’s say was years of abuse.  

"He vowed he was going to hurt anyone who helped Melanie,” says Knecht. 

"On July 9, 2014, Ronald Haskell was a very troubled and sick individual.

"He says, 'I started floating above myself,' and he’s witnessing these terrible, terrible shootings of the kids and their parents,” says Haskell’s attorney Doug Durham. 

Cassidy, 15, was the only one to survive. She was shot in the head but called 911, explaining what her uncle did. Haskell’s attorney says he was led by voices which he had names for.

"Primarily Joseph tells Ron he needs to kill the Stay family because that’s the only way he’s going to get his kids back.  That’s the only way Melanie is going to come back to him,” explains Durham.
"He was not suffering from a severe mental disease but rather he was suffering from an ego that couldn’t take a hit this hard,” says Knecht.

In 2013, Haskell’s attorney says he was hospitalized six times after doing things such as attacking his own sister and choking and duct taping his mother to a chair. Cassidy is expected to testify against her uncle when the trial resumes Tuesday morning.  


Timeline: Trial begins for man accused of killing 6 members of the Stay family