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Courtroom Drama Follows Shootings
By Chris Clackum
(NBC News) More information is surfacing about the violent past of the man accused of killing six members of a family near Houston, Texas.
During his first court appearance Friday Ronald Lee Haskell fainted.
"Maybe reality is finally setting in," said assistant district attorney Tammy Thomas. "He's finally facing his consequences."
Eventually wheeled out of court in a chair, Haskell was appointed a public defender.
Investigators say Haskell shot his ex-wife's sister, her husband and their five children execution style on Wednesday evening.
All but Cassidy, the 15-year-old daughter, died.
A brief chase followed and ended in a cul-de-sac with Haskell surrendering after a three-hour standoff.
His history of violence started in 2008 with a guilty plea in Utah for assaulting his wife.
"He had been hurting her and she decided to leave at that time," says former neighbor Jolyn Young.
Haskell's wife filed for divorce a year ago. Then, just last week in California, Haskell's 61-year-old mother filed a restraining order stating her son had "duct-taped her wrists" and "choked her until she passed out" then "he told me he was going to kill me, my family and any officer who stops him."
No officer in California could find Haskell before he had fled to Texas.
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