Good, but nothing can undo the damage he did.
Cassidy Stay, the lone survivor of a 2014 shooting that killed her mother, father and four younger siblings, folded her hands in prayer inside a courtroom while awaiting a verdict.
The killer, Ronald Haskell, claimed insanity when he fatally shot six relatives of his ex-wife at their Spring home. But a Harris County jury determined on Thursday that Haskell knew what he was doing when he massacred the family, convicting him of capital murder and moving him closer to a possible death sentence.
Upon hearing the decision, Stay breathed a deep sigh of relief, closed her eyes and pressed her hands over her heart, while Haskell just stared straight ahead.
The decision came after a month of testimony from dozens of witnesses, who described the gruesome scene and attempted to capture Haskell’s mental state at the time of the shooting. Prosecutors said Haskell planned the murders in an effort to enact vengeance on anyone who had helped his ex-wife, who left him in 2013.
Jurors took more than eight hours to deliberate their verdict.
“We are grateful for the jurors’ rapt attention over the last many weeks to every piece of evidence in the case,” Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said in a statement. “There was never a reasonable doubt that Haskell meticulously planned and carried out the slaughter of the Stay family.”
The jury panel will return Monday for the punishment phase of the trial to decide whether to sentence him to either life without parole or death.
See here for the background. Ronald Haskell is as much an emblem of mass gun violence as any of the more notorious murderers. His kind of crime, aimed at those closest to him and driven by misogyny and a history of domestic violence, is so common we almost don’t even notice it. He’s the problem we need to solve if we want to reduce gun violence in our country.