A Californian man accused of killing six members of his ex-wife's family, including four children, was found guilty of capital murder in a bloody act of revenge.
A Houston jury convicted Ronald Lee Haskell, 39, Thursday for murder, rejecting his insane defense after eight hours of talks over two days.
In 2014, he drove from California to Texas and pretended to be a FedEx delivery person to invade the Stay family home in search of his ex-wife. There he shot six family members with regard to his ex fatal.
Now jury members will hear evidence in the penalty phase of the trial before deciding whether to condemn Haskell to life in prison or death.
The Californian man Ronald Lee Haskell, 39, was convicted of capital murder on Thursday for killing six members of the Stay family in 2014. A Houston jury made a two-day decision after eight hours of consultation and rejected his insanity defense
Haskell (right) fell into depression after his wife, Melannie Lyon (left), divorced him months before the murder, after an 11-year abuse relationship. She also had custody of the couple's three children
In a revenge action, he pursued his ex-wife's family and forced his way to the Stay family's home, her family members. He killed 39-year-old Stephen Stay and his 34-year-old wife Katie, along with their four children, (pictured from left to right) 7-year-old Rebecca; 9 year old Emily; 4 year old Zach; and 13 year old Bryan. Cassidy Stay (far left) survived the shooting
His lawyers claimed Haskell believed that voices in his head told him to kill the Stay family in their suburban home in Houston.
Prosecutors claimed that Haskell was motivated by revenge and had plans to hurt everyone who helped his ex-wife, Melannie Lyon, after leaving him. Lyon testified that Haskell had physically abused her and their children, so she moved them all from Utah to Texas to be with her family after the divorce.
Authorities say Haskell traveled from California and chased the Lyon family for two days before killing six of them.
Cassidy Stay, who was 15 at the time of the shooting, was shot in the head but survived by playing dead.
Ronald Lee Haskell had been planning for months for the & # 39; cold-blooded execution & # 39; of the Stay family in 2014, prosecutor Samantha Knecht said during closing arguments Wednesday (above)
Authorities said Haskell wanted to hurt anyone who had helped his ex-wife after their divorce and his anger drove him to make a meticulous plan to achieve that goal
Cassidy Stay's mother and four brothers and sisters were killed in the shooting – she was shot in the head but survived
Cassidy Stay, now 20, was shot in the head, but the teenager survived by playing dead. She testified during the trial
Aurielle Lyon, Katie's sister, shed tears during the trial against Haskell
Prosecutor Samantha Knecht holds up a FedEx shirt, which was introduced as evidence during the closing arguments. Haskell wore this shirt during the murders to disguise himself as a FedEx employee to gain access to his ex-wife's house
The now 20-year-old woman testified that she was praying and begging her uncle & # 39; please don't hurt us, but that Haskell forced the whole family to lie down on the floor of the living room before she took them one by one shot down.
Among those who were killed were 39-year-old Stephen Stay and his 34-year-old wife Katie, along with their children, 4-year-old Zach; 7 year old Rebecca; 9 year old Emily; and 13 year old Bryan. Katie Stay was the sister of the former wife of Haskell. Haskell was sentenced for the death of Stephen and Katie Stay.
After the shooting at the home of the quarters, Haskell tried to go to the homes of his ex-wife's parents and brother, but officers detained him after a long distance.
Doug Durham, one of Haskell & # 39; s lawyers, said he shouldn't be found guilty for insanity because he suffered from a serious mental illness
On the night of the murderous disaster, Haskell (dressed in the FedEx shirt) was stopped by the police on his way to the home of another family member of his ex-wife who he also intended to kill, the officers said of justice.
In Texas, insanity defense is rarely used and rarely successful.
A forensic psychiatrist who testified before the defense said Haskell was not responsible for his actions because of a serious mental illness that prevented him from knowing well.
The psychiatrist testified that Haskell suffered from a form of bipolar disorder, a brain disorder that causes unusual mood swings, and schizoaffective disorder, a condition characterized by hallucinations or delusions.
Persecution experts testified that Haskell had no serious mental illness and had distorted his symptoms. He knew his actions were wrong and had planned them carefully, they claimed.
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