Crime

Houston Shooting Suspect Choked His Mother One Week Before Slayings

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

A suspect charged with killing six members of his ex-wife’s family was the subject of a restraining order obtained by his mother one week before the attack, after he allegedly choked her unconscious.

Ronald Lee Haskell, 33, allegedly tied up and choked his own mother in a domestic violence incident which occurred one week before the shooting death of his ex-wife’s sister, Katie Stay, and her family.

Haskell allegedly tied up and forced Stay, her husband and their children, ages 4, 7, 9, 13, and 15, to lie on the floor in their Houston home. He allegedly shot each one in the back of the head execution-style. Cassidy Stay, 15, miraculously survived. The bullet meant to kill her only fractured her skull.

On July 2, Haskell allegedly had an argument with his mother in her San Marcos, California, home, according to the San Diego County, California, sheriff’s office in a Thursday statement.

Karla Jeanne Haskell, 61, told police that her son physically restrained her when she tried to leave the house to get help. He allegedly forced her into the garage and duct-taped her wrists to a computer chair.

“He yelled at me and twice placed his hands around my neck trying to choke me and caused me to pass out,” she said, according to the court documents. “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.”

Haskell, who formerly lived with his ex-wife Melanie Haskell in Utah, had previous run-ins with law enforcement. In 2008, he was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence, simple assault and committing an act of violence in view of children, the Huffington Post reports. Melanie told police her husband dragged her out of their bedroom by her hair and hit her in the side of the head. Their children, ages 3 and 5, were home at the time.

On July 8, 2013, Melanie filed a protective order in Utah against her husband. He was served on July 9, exactly one year before he allegedly killed her relatives.

Cassidy told police when her ex-uncle arrived on her doorstep Wednesday he was wearing a FedEx shirt. He asked for her parents and when she told him they weren’t home he left. He returned a short time later and forced his way into the house, investigators say.

According to court documents, he tied up Cassidy and waited for the rest of her family to get home.

Investigators say that when Cassidy was shot she put up a hand, which deflected the bullet just enough to save her life. She lost a finger in the shooting, Click2Houston reports.

She called 911 and told police that she believed Haskell was on his way to kill her grandparents. Police managed to locate him using that information and, after a three-hour SWAT standoff, Haskell lowered his gun and surrendered.

Sources: National Post, Click2Houston, Huffington Post

Image Credit: ABC News