A San Diego County man accused of killing six members of his ex-wife's family, including four children, collapsed in court Friday as a prosecutor recited the charges against him.
A shackled Ronald Lee Haskell was standing before a state district judge during a probable cause hearing when he fell to the ground.
Deputies lifted him to his feet and Haskell stood for about another minute before collapsing again.
He was then lifted into a chair and wheeled from the courtroom. His court-appointed attorney, Doug Durham, said it appeared Haskell fainted. He said Haskell is being treated at the Harris County jail.
"His face, he obviously lost blood in his face, and his knees buckled," Durham said. "He's scared. I think he has a limited mental capacity of what's going on."
Haskell lived with his mother in San Marcos until July 3 when a judge approved a restraining order and ordered the unemployed 33-year old Haskell move out of the home.
NBC 7 has obtained court documents outlining a chilling history of violence and threats tied to Haskell by family members.
Haskell's mother, Karla Haskell, asked the court to protect her from her son following a violent fight on July 2.
She said Haskell got angry with her for speaking with his ex-wife and taped her by her wrists to a chair for four hours.
The 61-year-old mother documented that her son grabbed her by the neck and choked her until she passed out.
She said Haskell hid her telephones and told her he would kill her, her family and "any officer who shops him," the court documents read.
In Texas, Haskell's defense attorney plans to focus on his client's mental health.
Harris County prosecutor Tammy Thomas said she expects a grand jury to issue a capital murder indictment as a result of Wednesday's shooting that killed Stephen and Katy Stay along with four of their children, ranging in age from 4 to 14.
Authorities have said Haskell was searching for his ex-wife, Katy Stay's sister, when he forced his way into the home in the northern Houston suburb of Spring.
He tied up the family and put them face-down on the floor before shooting each in the back of the head, according to investigators. The family had refused to say where Haskell could find his ex-wife.
The lone survivor of the attack, the couple's 15-year-old daughter, suffered a fractured skull when a bullet grazed her head.