Ronald Haskell hated his former sister-in-law for helping his ex-wife leave him and made many threats against her before killing her and five members of her family, the defendant’s brother said Thursday during a capital murder trial for the slayings.
The 39-year-old has admitted to gunning down Katie Stay, her husband and five children in their Spring home on July 9, 2014. Only the Stays’ eldest daughter, Cassidy, survived. She was 15 at the time.
Ronald Haskell viewed Katie Stay as the person who pushed his ex-wife, Melannie Lyon, to divorce him, older brother Robert Haskell said. Katie Stay also helped Lyon move to Texas.
“That was usually the first word out of his mouth, was Katie,” Robert Haskell said.
Robert Haskell said he received “countless” calls from his brother in the months after the separation, expressing threats to hurt anyone that helped Lyon. At one point, Ronald told him that he wanted to “slit their throats,” Robert remembered.
Robert also said that movies helped Ronald calm down, focus his thoughts and drown out the voices he was hearing. Ronald Haskell went to see the film “22 Jump Street” just hours before killing the Stays, according to a movie stub found in his possession.
Haskell’s trial recessed for the day early Thursday and will resume Friday morning, when a medical expert is expected to take the stand and diagnose Haskell with schizoaffective disorder.
Defense attorneys are using an insanity defense in the case. A jury could find Haskell not guilty by reason of insanity, or guilty of capital murder. If he’s found guilty, he could face life in prison or a death sentence.
This article originally appeared here