January 27, 2023

HOUSTON – KPRC 2 Investigates hit documentary series The Evidence Room is back with a new season. The series investigates the most notorious crimes and convictions in the Houston area using unprecedented access to evidence held in Harris County criminal archives.

We begin the second season of The Evidence Room with the case of Ronald Haskell.

Ronald Haskell is wheeled into a Houston courtroom in 2015. (KPRC)

The story begins with a horrific phone call from Cassidy Stay asking for help. At the time, she was a 15-year-old teenager. She called 911 to report that her “Uncle Ronnie” shot and killed her family.

Cassidy, also injured, played dead until her uncle left home in the family car.

Haskell was there to find his ex-wife. He is originally from Logan, Utah. Haskell’s wife divorced him and was given custody of their children. Court records show he was looking for his wife and children.

Ronald Lee Haskell (old mugshot)

He first stopped in California, where police found his mother bound and beaten. Then he made his way to the Stay house in Spring, Texas.

In “The Evidence Room” you can see the Fed-Ex uniform that Haskell came to the house in. At first there were only the four children in the house. When the parents came home, he decided to take the family’s life and go to her grandmother’s house.

Ronald Haskell outfit worn on the day of the arrest. (Copyright 2023 by KPRC Click2Houston – All rights reserved.)

On the way there, the police caught up with him at a dead end. The standoff would last approximately three hours, with the deputies and officers armed to the core.

Not knowing where he was, Haskell calls 911. “I need the police,” he tells the control center. “There are about 20 police officers pointing guns at me. Does that help?”

Three negotiators worked to get Haskell out of the Stay family’s stolen car. He told them he wouldn’t do it unless he spoke to his brother, who was a police chief in Alaska.

Ronald Haskell speaking to law enforcement. (Copyright 2023 by KPRC Click2Houston – All rights reserved.)

Very aware of what was happening around him, Haskell told the first negotiator, “Why don’t you tell your sniper on the roof that he doesn’t have a very good shot at me there?”

The negotiator chuckles and says to Haskell, “Yeah, I’m not responsible for him.”

“Yes, his scope can erase the bar of light, but this bullet won’t erase it,” Haskell replies.

The negotiator tells him, “Okay. You know what? I’m not worried about the sniper and the shot he has. So it’s just there as a backup. He’s not there to pull the trigger unless there’s a problem. OK? And you and I can store it where there is no problem, okay.

Ronald Haskell enters a courtroom in Houston on August 26, 2019 on the first day of his trial.

After Haskell is arrested, KPRC 2’s Brandon Walker covers his case from hammer to hammer.

In this episode of The Evidence Room, hear the phone conversation between Haskell and his mother about “hearing voices.” During the trial, Haskell’s mental health was one of the arguments put forward, but prosecutors argued the murders were well planned.

KPRC 2 Investigates Robert Arnold and Walker discuss the evidence and testimony used to convict and sentence Haskell to his death row execution.

Season 2 of The Evidence Room premieres exclusively on the KPRC2+ live stream every Wednesday at 6:30pm CST.

Ways to watch the KPRC 2+ live stream:

  • Look for the KPRC 2+ app on your smart TV or streaming device – including Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire, and Google TV.

  • Check out the Click2Houston app, which you can download for free from your Apple or Android app store.

Copyright 2023 by KPRC Click2Houston – All rights reserved.

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