11:20 AM EDT, July 11, 2014
It was a remarkable scene as the crazy uncle who's accused of executing six family members appeared before a judge. He wobbled, and, as two court officers tried to prop him up, collapsed in a heap. When Ronald Lee Haskell was helped back up, his pants fell down exposing his backside to the world.
"Maybe reality is finally setting in," said Assistant District Attorney Tammy Thomas.
The courtroom drama happened as the grandparents of the slain children, Joyce and Tom Stay struggled to come to terms with the senseless slayings.
Tom Stay told INSIDE EDITION, "For this to happen, we couldn't believe it. We couldn't believe it."
They felt betrayed by a man they had known his whole life.
"He's not the Ronnie that I knew, and he grew up in a good family, and he was taught right, but what happened to him, we don't know," said Tom Stay.
INSIDE EDITION also uncovered more disturbing details about Haskell's history of violence. In 2008, he was arrested for domestic assault. According to a police report obtained by INSIDE EDITION, his wife, Melanie, claimed Haskell, quote, "dragged/threw me out of the room by my hair... then hit me in the side of the head."
Melanie filed for divorce last year, and when it was finalized she 'high-fived' friends and family outside court. That celebration enraged Haskell. According to a friend, "He was like, 'why are you so happy about ending a marriage?' It was obvious that the divorce really devastated him, it really hurt him."
Just last week, Haskell's own mother claimed he "duct taped me to a chair" for six hours and "choked" her until she passed out. "He told me he was going to kill me, my family, and any officer who stops him," Haskell's mother told cops.
Why? Because she had spoken to his ex-wife! Haskell went to Houston to find his ex, who had moved there for a fresh start and to be with her sister Katie Stay.
Police said Haskell kicked down the door of the Stay's home, tied them up, and laid them face down on the floor. He demanded to know where his ex-wife was, but they refused to tell him.
One victim was 13-year-old Bryan, who was born with Cerebral Palsy and played on a baseball team for kids with special needs. His dad, Stephen, was a coach. Nine-year-old Emily was also on the team. She was developmentally disabled.
According to police, Haskell shot them one by one in the back of the head. The bullet meant for 15-year-old Cassidy missed it's mark, grazing her skull. She played dead until Haskell left and called 911, telling cops that her uncle was headed to her maternal grandparents' house to kill them too.
Cops cornered Haskell en route, halting the rampage. Cassidy's grandparents released a statement today saying, "We are in awe of her bravery and courage in calling 911, an act that is likely to have saved all of our lives. She is our hero."