A man accused of killing six members of his ex-wife's family, including four children, collapsed in a Texas courtroom Friday as a prosecutor recited the charges against him.
A shackled Ronald Lee Haskell was standing before a state district judge Friday 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 lifted into a chair and wheeled from the courtroom. His court-appointed attorney, Doug Durham, says it appeared Haskell fainted. He says Haskell is being treated at the Harris County jail.
Durham says the defense will focus on Haskell's mental health.
Authorities say Haskell was searching for his ex-wife Wednesday when he shot the family in their suburban Houston home.
Haskell and his victims, his ex-sister in law Katy Stay and her husband Stephen are from San Marcos in San Diego County. Haskell is accused of shooting the Stay family execution style in their sububurban Hoston home on July 9th. Four of the Stays children were killed in the attack. A fifth, a 15-year-old girl, was shot but survived.
The San Diego County Sheriff's Department was investigating Haskell in the days before the shooting after they were called to his mother's home in San Marcos where he had been living after divorcing his wife months ago. She told deputies that her son physically restrained her during an argument and she got a temporary restraining order against Haskell less than one week before he allegedly killed the Stay family.