State News

Jul 11, 2014 12:00 PM by Associated Press

Texas Shooting Suspect Collapses in Court

SPRING, Texas (AP) - A man accused of killing six members of his ex-wife's family, including four children, collapsed in court Friday as a prosecutor recited the charges against him.

A shackled Ronald Lee Haskell was standing before a state district judge during a probable cause hearing when he fell to the ground. Deputies lifted him to his feet and the 33-year-old Haskell stood for about another minute before collapsing again.

He was then lifted into a chair and wheeled from the courtroom. His court-appointed attorney, Doug Durham, said it appeared Haskell fainted. He said Haskell is being treated at the Harris County jail.

Durham said the defense will focus on Haskell's mental health.

Harris County prosecutor Tammy Thomas said she expects a grand jury to issue a capital murder indictment as a result of Wednesday's shooting that killed Stephen and Katie Stay along with four of their children, ranging in age from 4 to 14.

Authorities have said Haskell was searching for his ex-wife, Katie Stay's sister, when he forced his way into the home in the northern Houston suburb of Spring.

He tied up the family and put them face-down on the floor before shooting each in the back of the head, according to investigators. The family had refused to say where Haskell could find his ex-wife.

The lone survivor of the attack, the couple's 15-year-old daughter, suffered a fractured skull when a bullet grazed her head.

___

Plushnick-Masti can be followed on Twitter at https://twitter.com/RamitMastiAP.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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