Lone survivor of Stay family slayings takes stand Tuesday
HOUSTON – The lone survivor of a massacre that left her entire family dead took the stand Tuesday against the man charged in the brutal murders.
Cassidy Stay, now 20 years old, testified about the day her aunt's ex-husband, Ronald Haskell, showed up at her family's Spring home disguised as a FedEx delivery driver.
Stay telling the jury she didn't instantly recognize him as the man she once called "Uncle Ronnie" because he was wearing wraparound sunglasses and she hadn't seen him in several years.
Stay says when Haskell first showed up, he asked if her parents were home, saying they had to sign for a package. He left but came back five minutes later, again asking for her parents and making his way inside the home, holding Cassidy and her four young siblings at gunpoint.
She told the jury, "I tried my best not to freak out, but I started to panic because I knew he was dangerous."
She says she pleaded with Haskell not to hurt them, telling him her brothers' and sisters' names.
"I was trying to appeal to his humanity. I didn't think someone would hurt kids if they knew their names and how old they were," she told the jury.
When Cassidy's parents, Katie and Steven Stay, returned home, she says her mother confronted Haskell, asking what he was doing there. Haskell said he had come for his children who he thought were living with the Stays.
Cassidy told the jury when Haskell once again brandished his gun, her mother tried to grab it from him and became his first victim.
She said Haskell then went down the line shooting her father, brothers and sisters.
In court, prosecutors played audio captured on the first responding officer's body camera microphone in which Cassidy is heard saying, "We've all been shot, my sister's moving, but I think they're all dead."
She also showed jurors the scar left behind after Haskell shot her, the bullet grazing the left side of her head.
Prosecutors made the point that Haskell was in control of the situation and did not appear to be distracted or hearing voices as Haskell's defense attorneys have argued.
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