Accused Texas shooter Ron Haskell collapses while hearing charges

Accused Texas shooter Ron Haskell collapses while hearing charges

Accused Texas shooter Ron Haskell collapses while hearing charges

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by MEGHAN KENEALLY and RYAN OWENS

WHAS11.com

Posted on July 11, 2014 at 5:00 PM

(ABC NEWS) -- The Texas man accused of killing four children and two adults collapsed twice during his arraignment today as his lawyer indicated he was preparing an insanity defense.

Ron Haskell, 33, slumped to his knees as the prosecutor read an account by a 15-year-old girl, the sole survivor of his alleged rampage.

Haskell, who was shackled, started swaying before he dropped to the floor during this morning's arraignment on a charge of capital murder. He later fell to his knees a second time and had to be helped back into his chair by deputies who eventually wheeled him out of the courtroom on an office chair.

His attorney Doug Durham said that Haskell was "off his meds during the shooting."


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"The question is: Is he legally responsible from a criminal standpoint?" Durham said. "I think the evidence is going to show ... he is a troubled individual and he has a history of mental illness."

The lawyer said Haskell had been given a "cocktail of meds" by jail authorities.

He is accused of breaking into the home of his ex-wife's sister Wednesday night, shooting his former sister-in-law, his former brother-in-law, and five children. Cassidy Stay, 15, was the only survivor.

Haskell was blank-faced throughout and emotionless during the hearing. The capital murder charge makes Haskell liable for the death penalty. Prosecutor Tammy Thomas told the Associated Press that a decision on the death penalty would be made later by elected District Attorney Devon Anderson.

The victims were Cassidy's parents, Katie and Stephen Stay, and four children - two boys and two girls between the ages of 4 and 13. Cassidy Stay survived despite being shot in the head and was able to call 911 to alert police that Haskell was allegedly planning to drive to kill other relatives.

"We did intercede (Haskell's) vehicle en route to the second location that the surviving victim was able to tell us about," Harris County Sheriff's Department spokesman Ryan Sullivan told ABC News.

Cassidy, who has been hailed as a hero by her grandparents, is hospitalized with a head wound, but is expected to make a full recovery.

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