SPRING, Texas - Is insanity an excuse or what drove Ron Haskell to admittedly massacre an entire family?
Several officers have taken the stand against Haskell in the murder trial. Jurors are hearing a lot about Haskell’s behavior in the moments after he opened fire on Stephen and Katie Stay and the couple’s five kids.
So what kind of person would shoot little children, execution style, in the living room of their own home? We know Haskell did just that, shooting his former sister and brother-in-law and his five nieces and nephews in their Spring home. The youngest was four years old.
”I’m not right in the head. I can’t think right,” Haskell told a Harris County Sheriff’s negotiator minutes after he shot the entire Stay family.
Haskell’s attorney says he was driven by insanity that day in July of 2014.
Negotiator Lonnie Cox is telling jurors Haskell did not appear to be delusional or hallucinating, but rather someone who "knows he’s done something wrong and he doesn’t want to go to jail.”
In fact, in the recording of Haskell talking with the negotiator Haskell, who was sitting in a car he had stolen from the Stays, says “You know I’m not coming out because I’m not going to jail.”
After shooting his ex-wife’s sister and her family, Haskell drove to his ex-wife’s parents home, then to her brother’s house, leading police on a chase and a standoff. Prosecutors say Haskell was abusive and after his wife divorced him he planned to murder her and her relatives.
“I had my kids taken away from me. Haven’t seen my kids for a year,” Haskell told the negotiator, but when Cox asks how old his kids are Haskell says, “I don’t know, young."
Haskell also cries at one point during the recording saying he thought he was a "pretty good guy," and he tells the negotiator he hears voices and hallucinates.
Several officers on the Crisis Intervention Team testified after decades of dealing with hundreds of people who are mentally ill, they did not believe Haskell was. They describe his behavior as someone who was using a tactic to keep from paying for the horrible crime he committed.
The trial is expected to last 8 to 12 weeks.