Ron Lee Haskell, the suspect accused of murdering almost an entire family, collapsed and passed out in court. Haskell made his appearance today and was arraigned in a Houston courtroom. As the charges against the 33-year-old accused murderer of six were read aloud, Haskell twice collapsed and eventually was removed from the courtroom via a wheelchair.
Writes The Associated Press on July 11, via MSN News: “A shackled Ronald Lee Haskell was standing before a state district judge during a probable cause hearing when he fell to the ground. Deputies lifted him to his feet and the 33-year-old Haskell stood for about another minute before collapsing again. He was then lifted into a chair and wheeled from the courtroom.”
“His face, he obviously lost blood in his face, and his knees buckled,” said Doug Durham, Haskell's attorney. “He's scared. I think he has a limited mental capacity of what's going on.”
Haskell, who has a history of domestic violence, is accused of gunning down six members of his ex-wife’s family on July 9, including four young children, in execution-style murders.
Killed by Haskell were Stephen and Katie Stay and their four children, ages 4 to 14. A fifteen year old daughter survived by playing dead after she also was shot. Her identification of Haskell led to his arrest.
Katie Stay was the sister of Haskell’s ex-wife; Haskell was reportedly looking for his ex when he broke into the Stay’s home in the northern Houston suburb of Spring, tied the family up and shot them all in the back of the head. The family never disclosed the location of Haskell’s ex-wife, Melanie Kaye Haskell.
Slate.com asked how the Texas shooter, who has a record for violence, was able to obtain a gun used in the murders.
The site writes: “From the reporting of the past few days, the spree appears to have been Haskell’s attempt to get revenge on his ex-wife’s family. To no one’s great surprise, Haskell had been arrested for domestic violence in 2008, and his ex-wife filed a protective order against him in 2013. All of which leads to the question: Considering the laws put in place, both on federal and state levels, to prevent domestic abusers from getting guns, how did Haskell get one?”
One week before Haskell went on the shooting rampage, he duct taped his own mother to a chair and choked her because she was speaking to his ex-wife.
“He yelled at me and twice placed his hands around my neck trying to choke me and caused me to pass out,” said 61-year-old Karla Haskell. “He told me he was going to kill me, my family and any officer who stops him. He hid my telephones. I was taped up for four hours.”
Karla Haskell was seeking to have a restraining order placed on her son when the killings occurred.
“The wife had also filed domestic abuse complaint against her husband in 2008 after he dragged her by the hair and repeatedly punched her in the head and five years later sought a restraining order against him,” ABC News reported.