Texas jury convicts man of killing 6 of ex-wife’s household

Ronald Haskell is led into the courtroom for closing arguments in his capital murder trial, Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019, in Houston. Haskell is on trial for the 2014 shooting of six members of his ex-wife's family in suburban Houston.

Ronald Haskell is led into the courtroom for closing arguments in his capital homicide trial, Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019, in Houston. Haskell is on trial for the 2014 capturing of six members of his ex-wife’s household in suburban Houston.

Brett Coomer

A person accused of fatally capturing six members of his ex-wife’s household, together with 4 youngsters, in an act of vengeance is responsible of capital homicide, a jury in Houston determined Thursday.

Jurors deliberated for eight hours over two days earlier than rejecting Ronald Lee Haskell’s madness protection. His attorneys had argued that Haskell believed voices in his head have been telling him to kill the Keep household at their suburban Houston house in 2014.

Beginning Monday, jurors hear proof within the trial’s punishment section earlier than deciding whether or not to condemn Haskell, 39, to life in jail or demise.

Prosecutors alleged Haskell was motivated by vengeance and had plotted to harm anyone who helped his ex-wife, Melannie Lyon, after she left him. Lyon testified that Haskell bodily abused her and their youngsters, so she moved all of them from Utah to Texas to be along with her household after the divorce.

Authorities say Haskell traveled from California and stalked Lyon’s household for 2 days earlier than killing six of them.

Cassidy Keep, who was 15 on the time of the capturing, was shot within the head however survived by taking part in useless.

Keep clasped her palms as if in prayer and bowed her head earlier than the decision was learn. Afterward, she wiped away tears. Keep later smiled and took deep breaths as she hugged prosecutors within the Houston courtroom

Haskell confirmed no response to the decision. He appeared all the way down to the ground, as he did all through the trial.

Keep, now 20, testified at trial that she prayed and begged her uncle “please do not damage us,” however that Haskell pressured the entire household to lie face down on the lounge flooring earlier than capturing them one after the other.

Amongst these killed have been 39-year-old Stephen Keep and his 34-year-old spouse Katie, together with their youngsters Four-year-old Zach; 7-year-old Rebecca; 9-year-old Emily; and 13-year-old Bryan. Katie Keep was the sister of Haskell’s ex-wife. Haskell was convicted within the deaths of Stephen and Katie Keep.

After the capturing on the Stays’ house, Haskell tried going to the homes of his ex-wife’s dad and mom and brother, however officers took him into custody after an extended standoff.

In Texas, an madness protection is never used and rarely profitable.

A forensic psychiatrist testifying for the protection mentioned Haskell wasn’t chargeable for his actions due to extreme psychological sickness that prevented him from figuring out proper from fallacious. The psychiatrist testified Haskell was affected by a type of bipolar dysfunction, a mind situation that causes uncommon shifts in temper, and from schizoaffective dysfunction, a situation characterised by hallucinations or delusions.

Prosecution specialists testified that Haskell didn’t have a extreme psychological sickness and had faked his signs. He knew his actions have been fallacious and had fastidiously deliberate the killings, they mentioned.