Ronald Haskell Sentenced to Death After Being Found Guilty of Capital Murder

Photo: Brett Coomer/Houston Chronicle via AP)


October 11, 2019 UPDATE: Robert Haskell Jr. has been sentenced the death penalty after being found guilty of capital murder.

Spring, Texas – Ronald Haskell Jr. has been found guilty in the killings of Stephen and Katie Stay and four of their five children. The killings took place inside their Spring, Texas home back in 2014 and only one daughter, Cassidy Stay, survived a bullet wound to the head.

Haskell plead not guilty by reason of insanity and throughout the trial, prosecutors worked diligently to paint the picture of Haskell as a man with a premeditated plan. The prosecution described a man looking for retribution against the Stay family after his ex-wife Melanie’s departure. Melanie was Katie Stay’s sister and Haskell blamed the family for his ex-wife leaving him.

“It’s not a coincidence he picked July 9, 2014 to go to the Stays’ house,” said prosecutor Samantha Knecht. “It’s one year to the day and time he was served with a protective order. That’s when the revenge in his heart began to grow.”

Prosecutors went on to describe, in detail, Haskell’s plan to get even with his ex-wife for leaving him. They described him as a narcissist whose wife left him after a decade of alleged abuse.

Haskell arrived at the Stay family home dressed in a Fed Ex uniform while carrying a “makeshift” package. He then shot the entire family execution-style with only Cassidy surviving.

The defense argued insanity, claiming Haskell’s bipolar disorder diagnosis as proof. They explained that Haskell heard voices that told him that if he killed his ex-wife’s sister he would get her back.

“This was not a rational plan,” said defense attorney Doug Durham. “It was a psychotic plan.”

The Harris County jury’s decision came after a month of testimony and about eight hours of deliberation. The jury is now left to decide whether Haskell should face the death penalty for his crimes or a life sentence. The punishment phase begins on Monday morning.

October 11, 2019 UPDATE: Robert Haskell Jr. has been sentenced the death penalty after being found guilty of capital murder.


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Volia Nikaci is a native New Yorker, writer, and journalist. She has a background in Broadcast Journalism & Political Science from CUNY Brooklyn College.