Jury sequestered in case of man accused of killing 6 members of Stay family

HOUSTON – A jury began deliberating Wednesday the fate of a man accused of killing six members of a Spring family five years ago and wounding a seventh.

The jury was sequestered at about 6:40 p.m. They will return to the courtroom at 9 a.m. Thursday.

Ronald Haskell, 39, of Utah, is charged in connection with the 2014 shooting deaths of Katie and Stephen Stay and their children Bryan, Emily, Rebecca and Zach. Their fifth child, Cassidy, was shot but survived her injuries.

During the trial, which began about a month ago, prosecutors painted Haskell as a man who sought vengeance against his ex-wife and her family.

The defense has argued that Haskell was insane and heard voices that led him to kill his ex-wife's sister, her husband and four of their five children at their Spring home on July 9, 2014.

Cassidy and Haskell's ex-wife, Melanie Lyon, were in court surrounded by family. At times, some details prompted tears. However, they have declined to comment on the case at this time.

After hearing nearly three hours of closing arguments, jurors were handed the case and broke for deliberations at about 3 p.m. Wednesday.

During closing arguments, Haskell sat with his head down for nearly the entire time.

The jury has three options. They can find Haskell guilty of capital murder, not guilty, or not guilty by reason of insanity.

The judge declared a recess until a verdict is reached.

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