LOCAL NEWS

Teen Told Uncle ‘Please Don’t Hurt Us’ Before Texas Shooting

Aug 28, 2019, 11:39 AM | Updated: Jun 8, 2022, 5:02 pm
Ronald Lee Haskell (Photo: Harris County Sheriff's Office)...
Ronald Lee Haskell (Photo: Harris County Sheriff's Office)
(Photo: Harris County Sheriff's Office)

HOUSTON (AP) — A young woman told jurors Tuesday that she begged her uncle “please don’t hurt us” and then began to pray before he fatally shot her parents and four siblings and shot her in the head in their suburban Houston home.

Cassidy Stay testified at the trial of Ronald Lee Haskell, who is charged with capital murder in the July 2014 attack. Stay, who was 15 at the time, survived by playing dead.

Haskell had been married to one of Stay’s aunts, Melannie Lyon. Prosecutors allege Haskell wanted to hurt his ex-wife’s family after their divorce and hatched a plan in which he traveled from California to Texas to carry it out.

Haskell’s attorneys have said their client admits to the killings but wasn’t responsible because he was insane.

While testifying for nearly two hours, Stay told jurors about her family before detailing the afternoon of the shootings.

Stay was taking care of her siblings while her parents ran errands when Haskell came to their home, posing as a FedEx delivery driver.

Stay, who didn’t recognize Haskell as her “Uncle Ronnie,” first told him her parents weren’t home to sign for a package and he left. Haskell returned a few minutes later and then forced his way into the house.

Stay said when she realized who Haskell was, she told him, “Please don’t hurt us, because I knew how awful he was.”

Lyon had accused him of domestic violence when they lived in Utah and she and their four kids had moved to Houston after the divorce to be with her family.

Haskell then pulled out a gun and ordered Stay and her siblings — 4-year-old Zach; 7-year-old Rebecca; 9-year-old Emily; and 13-year-old Bryan — to go into the living room.

Stay said she focused on keeping her siblings calm. She had them watch a show on Netflix to keep them distracted.

Stay said she told Haskell each of her siblings’ names and ages as part of an “appeal to his humanity. I didn’t think someone would hurt kids.”

When her parents — 39-year-old Stephen and 34-year-old Katie Stay — returned home, Haskell ordered them inside.

Haskell had the family members sit in the living room and told Cassidy Stay’s mother that, “I’ve come to get my kids.”

Haskell then had the family lie face down on the living room floor and took out his gun. Stay said when her mother realized what Haskell was going to do, she jumped up and screamed “No” and began to fight him. Haskell then shot her mother.

“I just saw her fall,” Cassidy Stay said. “I looked down and I covered my ears and I started screaming.”

Stay, now 20, told jurors she heard Haskell go down the line, in rapid succession, “boom, boom, boom,” and shoot her family members.

Stay said she stopped screaming after a voice whispered in her ear to “be quiet” and then she went limp after being shot in the hand and head. The bullet ended up grazing her head and Stay pretended to be dead until Haskell left her home.

She then saw her father’s body and it was holding her brother Zach. It appeared that her father had tried to shield Zach from the gunfire, she said.

Stay said she then called 911. Authorities said Haskell planned to go to the homes of his ex-wife’s other family members and kill them as well.

Aurielle Lyon, one of Stay’s aunts, testified earlier Tuesday that after the shooting, she and other family members fled her parent’s Houston home, without shoes or diapers for their kids, because they feared Haskell was headed their way.

“We were frantic,” Aurielle Lyon said.

After the shooting at the Stays’ home, Haskell tried going to the houses of his ex-wife’s parents and brother before officers took him into custody.

Stay told jurors it never seemed Haskell was disoriented or listening to voices when he held her family captive.

“No, it was all him,” Stay said before finishing her testimony.

Haskell’s trial could last up to two months. He faces the death penalty, if convicted.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

(KSL TV)...
Josh Ellis

Tooele County teacher named latest ‘Most Valuable Educator’ by Utah Jazz, Instructure

The Utah Jazz, Instructure and KSL TV are teaming up to honor the state’s most valuable educators, and the latest teacher to join the group is Mrs. Kim Nielsen from Rose Springs Elementary School.
12 hours ago
(KSL TV)...
Pat Reavy

Drug deal gone bad led to double killing in Taylorsville, police say

Taylorsville police have arrested a 19-year-old man in connection with a double killing at an apartment complex Monday night after the man surrendered Tuesday.
12 hours ago
A herd of elk cross I-80 near the mouth of Parleys Canyon on Feb. 1, 2023. (UDOT)...
Josh Ellis

Herd of elk causes delays on roads near Parleys Canyon

The Utah Department of Transportation warned drivers to be on the lookout as around 40 elk crossed roads near the mouth of Parleys Canyon.
12 hours ago
(KSL TV)...
Josh Ellis

1 dead, 1 injured in wrong-way crash that closed NB I-15 near SL/Davis Co. line

One person was killed and another was seriously injured in a wrong-way crash on northbound Interstate 15 Wednesday morning.
12 hours ago
...
Matt Gephardt and Cindy St. Clair

After new homes flood, residents question if builder or Mother Nature is to blame

Several new homes in a Lehi community flooded during rainstorms earlier this month. When they say the home builder told them they weren’t responsible, they decided to Get Gephardt to investigate.
2 days ago
...
Andrew Adams

Taylorsville music store temporarily closed by broken pipes, flooding

The owner of a longtime music store said Tuesday that extreme cold temperatures contributed to a fire suppression system malfunction that led to pipes breaking and a flooded storefront. 
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t Let a Ransomware Attack Get You Down | Protect Your Workplace Today with Cyber Insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Teen Told Uncle ‘Please Don’t Hurt Us’ Before Texas Shooting