HOUSTON (FOX 26) - The jury is now deliberating in the murder trial of Ron Haskell who admittedly shot and killed six of his in-laws back in 2014. The jury is now sequestered.
Jurors have been considering Ron Haskell's fate since around 3 p.m. Wednesday. They actually have three options. One is finding Haskell not guilty. That is something even his own attorney said he knows won't happen after Haskell admittedly shot and killed Stephen & Katie Stay and the couple's four little kids who once called him "Uncle Ronnie".
Ronald Haskell, who was earlier convicted of violence against his wife Melanie, shot Melanie's sister Katie Stay, Katie's husband and all five of the Stay's kids after his wife divorced him. Defense attorneys say Haskell was suffering a mental crisis when he tied up and duct taped his own mother in California on July 2, 2014 and began driving to Texas.
Haskell's attorney says he was driven by insanity that day in July of 2014.
"On July 9, 2014 Ron Haskell committed a terrible crime that killed Katie and Stephen Stay and their four kids. The issue is why?" says Haskell's Attorney Doug Gurham.
Defense attorneys say Haskell was insane when he murdered his ex-wife's sister Katie, her husband Stephen and the couples four kids. 15-year-old Cassidy Stay was shot in the head and survived.
"Someone who could have been a good man went from an Eagle Scout to a psychotic killer driven by demons and voices and mania and depression," says Haskell's Attorney Neal Davis III, but prosecutors say Haskell was an abusive husband who murdered his in-laws after his wife divorced him after years of threats like this.
"If you leave me I will find you. I will hunt you down and I will kill all of your family members while you watch and then I'll kill you," Prosecutor Samantha Knecht told jurors during Closing Arguments.
"This was anger, rage. This was vengeance and that is not a serious mental illness," Prosecutor Lauren Bard told jurors.
"He did have a severe mental illness, and he didn't know what he was doing was wrong," Durham countered.
"Who looks at their brother and their family and says I am going to kill everyone who helped her leave? And he didn't just say it once he said it over 100 times," Bard added.
"He didn't want to be this way. He had no control. He didn't know his actions were wrong," Davis insists.
"He puts on this Fedex shirt, this disguise. If he didn't know what he was doing was wrong why did he need a disguise?" asks Knecht.
"Ron reported he was having hallucinations. He was seeing a spirit standing over his bed," says Durham.
"Ladies and gentleman he absolutely knew what he was doing that day. All along the way he took steps to hide, to disguise, and to plan this execution," Knecht told jurors.
Haskell admits to driving from California, stopping in Utah to steal a gun from his ex-girlfriend, to buying bullets and coming to Houston where he killed his in-laws.
In addition to the not guilty option, jurors can also find Haskell not guilty by reason of insanity. If he's found guilty, Haskell could be sentenced to death.