Friday, July 11, 2014

Dad who slaughtered ex-sister-in-law's family while looking for estrnaged ex-wife had EXTENSIVE history of domestic violence and JOINT CUSTODY of kids (Houston, Texas)

Dad RON LEE HASKELL should have been imprisoned YEARS AGO. But no, we see the same little footsy games. He's arrested, the charges dismissed. A protective order is obtained, it's dismissed. Mom finally leaves him (with the help of her sister) and the piece of crap gets JOINT CUSTODY of the kids, which means it will be years before she'll ever be able to free of him. Why at minimum wasn't he jailed after his assault on his own mother? Nope, just another useless restraining order and an "investigation." 

This is the victory of fathers' rights. Daddy just grows more and more emboldened and entitled as he figures that nothing he ever does will ever result in any real consequences.

Revealed: Houston shooter's own mother had taken out a restraining order against him 'for tying her to a chair and choking her' a week before massacre

Police in Houston, Texas, arrested 33-year-old Ron Lee Haskell on Wednesday night after a tense stand-off at a suburban cul-de-sac

Haskell charged with shooting dead six members of the same family

Arrived at the home wearing FedEx uniform looking for his ex-wife

Shot dead his victims 'execution-style' in the back of the head after they refused to tell him where his ex-wife was

The deceased children were boys, ages 4 and 14; two girls, ages 7 and 9

Deceased adults identified as Stephen Stay, 39 and Katie Stay, 34

Teenage girl, 15, also a victim and suffered a critical injury to the head

She played dead until Haskell left and phoned 911 to alert authorities

Haskell and his wife Melanie Kaye Haskell were married in 2002 in California

They separated in June 2013 and a divorce decree was issued in February

Granted joint custody of their four children, ranging in age from 3 to 11

By Snejana Farberov and Associated Press Reporter
Published: 20:47 EST, 10 July 2014 | Updated: 06:50 EST, 11 July 2014

The mother of the Houston man accused of killing six members of his ex-wife’s family, including four children, had obtained a restraining order against her son less than a week before the slayings after a violent confrontation.

Ronald Lee Haskell, 33, is accused of killing his ex-wife's sister, Katie Stay, her husband and the children, ranging in age from 4 to 14, after tying them up and putting them face-down on the floor of their suburban Houston home.

Each was shot in the back of the head after the family refused to tell Haskell where he could find his ex-wife, officials said.

The lone survivor of the Wednesday attack, the slain couple's 15-year-old daughter, suffered a fractured skull when a bullet grazed her head. She played dead and called 911 after her uncle left.

The San Diego County, California, sheriff's office said in a Thursday statement that Haskell's mother, Karla Jeanne Haskell, had reported an argument with her son July 2 at her home in San Marcos, California.

During the fight, Mrs Haskell said her son duct taped her wrists, tied her to a computer chair and threatened to kill her for speaking to his ex-wife.

'He yelled at me and twice placed his hands around my neck trying to choke me and caused me to pass out,' the 61-year-old woman told police, 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 eventually left, and his mother contacted 911, the statement says. She later obtained a restraining order against her son and the case remains under investigation, according to the statement.

On Thursday, new details also emerged about Haskell's arrest outside the home of his former in-laws in Spring, where he was cornered by police officers acting on a tip that he may try to kill his ex-wife's parents as well.

Neighbors told KHOU that officers had Haskell surrounded directly in front of his relatives' home in a quiet cul-de-sac.

Resident Rebecca Butts described Haskell's demeanor at the time of his arrest as 'emotionless' and 'creepy.'

Witnesses said the suspect remained stone-faced and refused to comply with arresting officers' orders to surrender.

Police disabled his car using a spike strip and two SWAT team vehicles sandwiched the vehicle to prevent him escaping. During a tense three-hour standoff he reportedly held a pistol to his head threatening to kill himself before finally giving himself up.

A day after the slayings, investigators slowly built a picture of Haskell, who was the couple's estranged brother-in-law.

Neighbors said Haskell's marriage was so rocky that Katie Stay went to Utah last fall to help her sister escape the relationship and start a new life in Texas.

Stay 'was very instrumental in helping her sister get here so she could have a fresh start. Katie's a spitfire. She has energy to stand up for what she believes is right and true,' said Verena Beckstrand, a neighbor who choked back tears as she talked about the family.

Haskell had previously been jailed in 2008 in Logan, about 80 miles north of Salt Lake City, on charges of assault and domestic violence.

He had a history of previous run-ins with law enforcement in Utah, where he had lived with his wife. the woman complained to police he dragged her by her hair and repeatedly punched her in the head in front of their children.

The couple both told officers they were not getting along and that Haskell had been stressed at work. According to the police report two children, believed to be aged three and five, were at home with them at the time of the assault. Charges were later dismissed as part of a plea deal.

Haskell was incarcerated at the Cache County Jail following an incident in 2008, according to the Cache County Sheriff's Office. He also had several involvements with the Logan City Police Department.

In September 2009 he reportedly flagged down a police cruiser in Utah and told officers his wife had gone missing and that he feared she may kill herself.

He said she had left a note to say she was going away and that she would miss him and their children, but felt she was holding them back.

Police put out a APB but Haskell then claimed to have found his wife and said he was taking her to the hospital.

Haskell was also served last year with a protective order from his ex-wife. It was dismissed in October after the couple filed for divorce, online court records show..

By Thursday morning, a small memorial with three candles and a plant had been set up at the front door of the family's two-story white-brick and brown wood-trimmed home.

A couple with a child left a framed photo of the family with the inscription 'Faith, Hope, Love.'

'I don't think any of us will ever be able to see that house the same again,' said Viri Palacios, who lives across the street. 'I just want the word to get out they were a really, really good family.'

The father, Stephen Stay, was a real estate broker.

The mother was a helpful presence around the neighborhood, planning Halloween and Christmas parties for children, Palacios said.

A few blocks from the home at Lemm Elementary School, Principal Kathy Brown tied multi-colored ribbons around trees in front of the building and encouraged parents to do the same.

'It's to have positive bright thoughts about the family,' Brown said, noting that two of the slain children had attended school there and a third had graduated from Lemm.

Documents from Thursday's preliminary court hearing show that the daughter who survived attempted to close the door after telling Haskell her parents were not home. But he kicked it in. The teen remained in critical condition in a Houston hospital.

In a statement, issued Thursday through the Harris County Sheriff's Office, Katie Stay's father, Roger Lyon, said his 15-year-old granddaughter 'is expected to make a full recovery.'

When the badly wounded daughter contacted authorities, she told them the gunman was planning to shoot other relatives, Hickman said.

Police located Haskell's car, and took him into custody after a three-hour standoff.

'We are grateful for this miracle,' Lyon said in his statement.

'We are in awe of her bravery and courage in calling 911, an act that is likely to have saved all of our lives. She is our hero.'

Haskell was wearing a FedEx shirt at the time of the attack, but authorities seemed uncertain whether it was a deliberate attempt to deceive.

Harris County Constable Ron Hickman initially said Haskell showed up at the Stay home 'in the guise of a FedEx driver.'

But he and other officials later declined to say whether Haskell used the uniform to gain access to the home.

Hickman said investigators were not sure whether the suspect would have needed a disguise to get in the house, or if the children knew him.

Haskell had once done work for FedEx but not since January, the company said in a statement.

Online jail records did not list an attorney for Haskell, who was initially misidentified by authorities as the slain children's father. Police did not explain the mistake.

A divorce decree issued in February shows Haskell and Melanie Kaye Haskell were married in 2002 in Orange County, California. They separated in June 2013.

A judge granted joint custody of the couple's four children, ranging in age from 3 to 11, with Haskell's wife getting primary custody.

At the time of the divorce, Haskell was making $2,300 a month, although the records do not say what kind of work he did.

He was ordered to pay $773 per month in child support. His wife was given the house, valued at $190,000, in the small town of Smithfield, Utah, just outside Logan.

Haskell's motive for the execution-style killing, according to the children's paternal grandfather, was his jealousy for the family's happy life together.

Speaking to MailOnline from his home in Sun City, California, Thomas Stay said that Haskell envied the life his son Stephen had built with his wife Katie and their five children.

According to Thomas Stay, Haskell couldn't accept his separation from his ex-wife Melanie - Katie's sister - and chose to massacre his son and his family because he was ‘jealous of Stephen and Katie's family and what they could have that he didn’t have’.

Thomas also opened up about Haskell’s history and said that he had been ‘unstable for a long time’ - but had been known to his family for years.

He said: ‘Ron’s brother Bobby is Stephen’s best friend. It’s strange. I think that mentally he’s just not right.

‘The whole thing doesn’t make any sense. Ron was just all mixed up.

‘He and Melanie split about six months ago, they were living in Logan, Utah, and he was abusive, very controlling. Their divorce was finalized in February.

‘She couldn’t take it any more.’

Thomas said that his son and daughter-in-law moved to Texas about four years ago having previously lived in Utah.

Like Haskell they had four children, but unlike him their marriage lasted.

He said: ‘Melissa had the kids with her. I don’t know if he was thinking maybe the will be at Stephen’s house.’

Paying tribute to his son and daughter-in-law, he said: ‘They were very religious, they had a lot of faith in the gospel. They loved each other and did things together.

‘They just loved life.’

Stephen’s mother Joyce Stay, 74, added: ‘We lost our son, our daughter-in-law, our four grandkids. We know the man that did it. ‘His family has been friends with ours for years. He was not well person. I watched this kid grow up, I have had him in my home for sleepovers.

‘This is a good family that this man comes from - there is something wrong in him to do this kind of thing, it’s not normal’.

Thomas Stay also revealed that Cassidy, 15, the sole survivor of the shooting, is now out of the Intensive Care Unit and is conscious.

According to NBC News, Melannie Haskell petitioned a court for an order of protection in July 2013. The judge granted this order, and Melannie Haskell filed for divorce the following month.

In October last year, the protective order was lifted when the couple decided on a mutual restraining order and custody arrangements involving their children.

A judge also decreed that Ron Lee Haskell’s visits would be watched by a psychologist.

'Mr. Haskell's parent time will be supervised until such time that his physical therapist can report that the respondent is no longer a threat to the children,' the judge wrote.

Indeed, Haskell has had a number of previous run-ins with the law in his home state of Utah when he was living there with his wife.

Before she filed her restraining orders, Utah law enforcement said that Haskell was arrested several times by the Logan City Police Department and was jailed for a time in the Cache County jail in 2008.

Mr. Haskell was booked into the Cache County Jail on charges of simple assault and child abuse or neglect, both class B misdemeanors, on June 5, 2008,' according to a news release from the Cache County Sheriff’s Office.

Since then, he has had multiple involvements with Logan City Police Department and had a protective order served on him by Cache County Sheriff’s deputies on July 9, 2013.'

According to The Salt Lake Tribune, Haskell was also arrested in June 2008 and charged with simple assault and domestic violence in the presence of a child.

He was also jailed in the same year on charges of assault and child abuse or neglect according to a statement from the Cache County Sheriff's Office.

Both were dismissed the next year.

The teen's call allowed police to rush to the scene and corner the suspected gunman who eventually sank to his knees and surrendered after a tense three-hour stand-off with deputies who had corralled him into a suburban cul-de-sac.

'It appears this stems from a domestic issue with a breakup in the family from what our witness has told us,' Assistant Chief Deputy Constable Mark Herman of the Harris County Precinct 4 Constable's Office told reporters. He did not explain further.

According to documents read out in magistrate court this morning in Houston, the 15-year-old girl managed to give police a witness statement.

The teen said that Haskell arrived in the afternoon on Wednesday dressed as a FedEx worker looking for his estranged wife and asked for her parents, but she told him that none of them were at home.

He left, only to return a short time later and the teen once again told him that her parents were not home.

It was at this point that she recognized him as her 'ex-uncle' and tried to close the door on him.

Haskell kicked the door in and tied her up and then waited for her four brothers and sisters and parents to return.

When they did he tied them up as well and then laid them face-down on the floor.

According to police documents read out in court this morning he demanded to know where hs wife was and when they said they did not know, he shot them all 'execution-style' in the back of the head and left.

However, the bullet only fractured the teen's skull according to Click2Houston - and she played dead until he left and then called 911.

She was able to tell deputies who the shooter was and that she believed he was headed to another residence at Anvil and Ella to possibly attack more family members.

Deputies were able to intercept Haskell, who led them on a chase that came to an end about three miles from the shooting scene.

Haskell, 33, was transferred to the Harris County jail overnight and has been charged with multiple shooting deaths.

The shootings took place about 20 miles north of downtown Houston at a four-bedroom home in a quiet, middle-class residential neighborhood near the town of Spring.

Reached at her home in San Marcos, California, Haskell's mother Karla, 61, fought back the tears as she admitted she still did not know exactly what her son had allegedly done.

She said: 'We have no idea about what went on. We still don't know.

'I can't watch it. I just can't do it. I really can't talk right now'.

Haskell's brother Robert said: 'I would like to say that our thoughts and prayers are going to the family that were affected and people that lost their loved ones.

Asked about his brother's state of mind, he said: 'There's a lot going on but I can't comment further. I have not spoken to the police'.

Police say Haskell held the five children and their parents prisoner, tied up and then shot them all.

Gilliland said the teenager was in 'very critical condition' at Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston late Wednesday night after being airlifted there.

It was the 15-year-old survivor who told deputies that Haskell was headed to her grandparents' home and they were able to pass along the warning, he said according to local press reports.

Constable Ronald Hickman in Houston said she gave police a description of the suspect and was providing 'critical information' to authorities.

'While quickly responding to that location, we saw him coming up to that residence where other relatives of that family lived and we assumed he meant to shoot them as well,' Hickman said.

According to KHOU in Houston, 'He (Haskell) came to this location yesterday afternoon – late – and came under the guise of a FedEx driver wearing a FedEx shirt,' said Constable Ron Hickman.

'…came to this residence, gathered up the children that were here and awaited the arrival of the parents. Sometime later the victims were shot in this residence, and we now learned that Mr. Haskell was married to a relative of the residents of this home.'

FedEx confirmed that Haskell worked for them through a contractor - but said he had performed no duties for them since the New Year.

'We don't know why this happened,' nearby resident Paul Anthony Slawinski told Reuters. 'This man, his wife, and children were the definition of compassion and charity.'

A woman who said she lives across the street from the house described the family as close-knit to the Houston Chronicle.

'It was a Mormon family,' she said. 'They were very sweet and their kids were very shy. This is a sad, sad day.'

Public records state that Stephen Robert Stay and Katie Stay, ages 39 and 33, are living at the residence on Leaflet Lane, however, they are not listed as the owners of the house.

A web page from the Houston Association of Realtors lists Stephen Stay as a real estate broker in the area and listed the home's address as his residence.

Authorities said the teen's information also helped them intercept the suspect. The suspected gunman then led authorities on a chase, with nearly two dozen deputy constables' patrol cars following him into a cul-de-sac shortly before 7 pm.

There, the suspect's boxed-in vehicle remained for hours. Finally, about 10 p.m., after hours of waiting and negotiations, the man emerged from his car, raised his hands and sank to his knees as deputies placed him under arrest.

During that time, Gilliand said, there were 'two hours of constant talking with a man armed with a pistol to his head and who had just killed six people.'

Gilliland described the man as in his 30s with a beard 'and cool as a cucumber.' He said that when he and other officers first approached, the man was 'just sitting in his car looking out at us.'

'This concluded the way we wanted it to,' Gilliland said after the surrender.

Said Precinct 4 Constable Ron Hickman, 'He was in the car for 3½ hours. He was worn down like the rest of us. He came out of the car without resistance.'