Ex-Utahn accused of killing 6 in Texas was ordered to stay away from ex-wife

Return To Article
Add a comment
  • LOU Montana Pueblo, CO
    July 15, 2014 7:53 a.m.

    A Utah connection to the Texas shooting...........I think I would just keep that one suppressed.

  • Principled Santa Clarita, CA
    July 14, 2014 2:37 p.m.

    RE: Saltand Vinegar,

    I like how you use the Book of Mormon to pull out principles to use in everyday life. I try to do that also. I don't know if banning firearms would really make our country a more moral country. Isn't THAT the real issue? People who use firearms to kill innocent people have a moral/psychological issue. Banning a firearm is not going to get to the root of the problem. You mentioned how in the Book of Mormon the people buried their weapons of war. What was not said was how these particular people had been a bloodthirsty people who had previously delighted in killing. It was good that they buried their weapons of war (or weapons of rebellion). Yet, when their children, with God's blessing, defended their rights and their families against their enemies, did they not use weapons to do so? What is the difference? That is the real underlying principle. How can we use that in our own society? I've never personally heard of a gun shooting and killing a person all on its own, making it the responsible party.

  • On the other hand Riverdale, MD
    July 13, 2014 8:45 p.m.

    Of course the predator was at fault, but there's no question his gun made him even more dangerous than he already was. Taking away his gun would not have rendered him harmless, but it would have significantly reduced his ability to harm, and it would have increased his victims' ability to defend themselves and increased their likelihood of survival. Keeping guns out of the hands of people with demonstrated violent tendencies is not the be-all, end-all solution to the problem of mass killings, but it ought to be an important part of the solution.

    Another issue is that we have a legal system whose main remedy is to dole out threats (like restraining orders) and punishments (like prison time). Once someone (perhaps someone who is mentally ill) reaches the point where they feel they have nothing to live for, threats and punishments don't carry much weight. Again, I'm not absolving Haskell of any fault. I'm simply asking whether there might be changes to the way our system responds to initial expressions of violence that would be in everybody's best interest--are there different, earlier interventions that might yield better outcomes for society?

  • JayTee Sandy, UT
    July 12, 2014 11:35 p.m.

    Here we go again: it wasn't the predator at fault, it was the dreaded gun. Yeah, I'm sure he would have been as harmless as a new-born bunny were it not for the firearm. You bet. When are we going to start blaming actual perpetrators instead of tools, society, and a million other scapegoats?

  • Most Truthful and Patriotic Layton, UT
    July 12, 2014 10:57 a.m.

    Truth about some of the above comments:

    1 - Chicago's gun problems start across the border in Indiana, where straw buyers can purchase unlimited numbers of weapons.
    2 - No, he couldn't have killed six people "with anything". A gun is expedient, does not require close contact, and was obviously a surprise. Holding a knife on one of six people, and someone else can get away.
    3 - Congress, at NRA money-direction, has essentially defunded the NIH statistical databases as well as the mental health databases used for background checks.
    4 - WHY did this guy still have a gun? Why was he let off so easily in Cache County when he was clearly a threat to his wife and children? If he had been any other religion or race, he'd have been in prison.

  • JDL Magna, UT
    July 12, 2014 6:23 a.m.

    SAlt and vinegar,

    Again you miss the point. Self preservation is a justifiable condition by the Lord himself through the prophets. It was justifiable in the Old Testament, it was justifiable in the Book of mormon. A resounding YES that the Stay family was justified in preserving their lives and fending off the brutal attacks by an unstable aggressor as was the wife, the children, the mother and the sister way before the incident in Texas.

  • Sal Provo, UT
    July 11, 2014 7:29 p.m.

    I have a relative who went absolutely crazy on the first day he took an anti-depressant. It was so scary the police had to be called three times that day. He did no physical harm, but threatened it. He was sane again the next day. Wow, what a medication. What a reaction.

  • gmlewis Houston, TX
    July 11, 2014 4:03 p.m.

    Revenge killings have been going on for thousands of years, long before there were guns or anti-depressant medications. We have yet to see any reason other than premeditated malice behind these horrific homicides. I can imagine no other reason why someone would tie up a four year old and execute him. Certainly he wouldn't have been a risk as a witness.

    Those of us who knew the Stay's mourn their passing. We need to leave it up to the legal system to determine motive, judgement, and punishment.

  • Anonyme Orem, UT
    July 11, 2014 3:17 p.m.

    Open Minded Mormon, you say, “Meds sometimes DO have a very serious adverse side-effect.
    That is why the FDA requires a Black Box warning label be put on each and everyone of them.”

    Actually, the reason for the warning is an attempt to balance the small risk posed by antidepressants against their well-documented benefits. In 2006 the FDA conducted a review of 2,200 children taking SSRIs and found that about 4% experienced suicidal thinking or behavior—twice the rate of those taking placebo. No suicides occurred, and since 2006 new studies have shown that the benefits of antidepressant medications likely outweigh their risks to children and adolescents.

    There is NO warning in the black box about violent or homicidal behavior for any age. It ONLY concerns suicidality in young people up to age 24. You can read it yourself online.

    Many studies have found that SSRIs may reduce the propensity for violence. See George DT et al, January 2011; Stark LJ et al, April 1989; Coccaro EF et al, May 2009; Marcotte DE et al, September 2009. A 2006 UCLA study shows that antidepressants have saved the lives of thousands of people. But their stories don't make the news.

  • Anonyme Orem, UT
    July 11, 2014 3:16 p.m.

    Open Minded Mormon, concerning the perpetrator's use of medication you say, “Let's see if this comes up [or even gets mentioned] in the investigation.”

    Oh, it always gets mentioned. You just have to wait for the autopsy report. For example, you made this comment on January 21 on the DN story "You look for understanding, and there is none" about Joshua Boren:

    “Sure there is, Checks what meds he had been taking.”

    Well, they checked, and the toxicology report was negative for any medication.

    say, “Check the media reports,” so I did. Neither Adam Lanza, Jason Klebold, Seung Cho, nor Darion Aguilar were using medication. There are undoubtedly more. Darion Aguilar wanted mental health treatment but never got it.

    According to the New York Times, after Jared Loughner pleaded guilty to killing 6 and wounding 9 in 2011 in Tucson, he told his doctor he wished he had taken the antidepressants he had been prescribed long before the shooting.

  • Mamamama Salt lake city, UT
    July 11, 2014 2:47 p.m.

    Entirely too many LDS men view their wives as property instead of treating them as equals. Actually many other religions have the same problem. I am sick of hearing about young wives and mothers being murdered just because they want a divorce from their abusive husbands.

  • MoJules Florissant, MO
    July 11, 2014 1:44 p.m.

    I am going to keep this short and simple. My heart and prayers go out to this family and I hope they will heal. I am saying this out of respect to them, and not to turn this into a circus by stating my "opinion".

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    July 11, 2014 12:37 p.m.

    I'm with --
    Henderson, NV
    10:02 p.m. July 10, 2014
    ....on this one.

    Check the media reports, police reports, and FDA reports.
    Meds sometimes DO have a very serious adverse side-effect.

    That is why the FDA requires a Black Box warning label be put on each and everyone of them.

    Let's see if this comes up [or even gets mentioned] in the investigation.

  • SaltandVinegar Logan, UT
    July 11, 2014 12:34 p.m.


    Really? Are we also unwilling to covenant with the Lord and ourselves to destroy the weapons of war that plague American streets? I'm certain Jesus Christ would not be down here preaching that the Stay family should have defended themselves (assuming they would have had an opportunity considering he held them at gun point and tied them up)? Or would he preach that we should commit as a nation to removing the vile things that the mentally ill are using to kill others with? That's the real question we should be asking our selves.

  • lledwards38 Canandaigua, NY
    July 11, 2014 11:46 a.m.

    Never mind a mental health diagnosis. How many times was Haskell arrested, then let go? How many violent acts does a person have to commit before the courts realize he is a danger to society and they prosecute him for the crimes he has already committed?

    Whose idea was it for his ex-wife to "compromise" and let go of the order of protection? Why was he allowed any visitation with his children, supervised or otherwise? How many people have to die before we take these people off the streets, and keep the extended families safe?

    The man isn't sick. He is evil!!! Let's treat him as such.

  • JDL Magna, UT
    July 11, 2014 10:43 a.m.

    @ SaltandVinager,

    For members of the church in particular, it's even more sad considering the many times in the book of Mormon where they were more willing to beat their weapons into and bury them beneath the earth than say it was some right of their's. Shame on us for allowing people like this to be able to obtain firearms.

    First, the example you site is the onplowsharesly time in the Book of Mormon where the people gave up their weapons, specifically to keep a covenant that they personally made, not "many" as you claim. Second, You forget that the children of those who entered into the covenant were not under the same obligation. Third, the sons of those who entered into the covenant armed themselves in defense of an enemy attack. Fourth, defense was at the heart of self preservation for the Nephites. Justifiably, by the Lord and prophet leaders they used deadly force to disarm (no pun intended) their enemies.

    The families and friends of this man should have been encouraged to defend themselves even with deadly force if necessary to preserve their own lives.

  • SaltandVinegar Logan, UT
    July 11, 2014 10:07 a.m.

    Here we live in a country more willing to watch people shoot and kill each other than give up their so called right to bear arms. Australia set a good example when they said no more after their shooting in Port Arthur. Guns do kill people. Why else were handguns made? Or assault rifles? In fact 3/4ths of murders in the US are committed with a firearm, and yet we're unwilling to bury the weapons of war. For members of the church in particular, it's even more sad considering the many times in the book of Mormon where they were more willing to beat their weapons into plowshares and bury them beneath the earth than say it was some right of their's. Shame on us for allowing people like this to be able to obtain firearms.

  • JDL Magna, UT
    July 11, 2014 9:29 a.m.

    I want to say how thankful I am for the atonement of Jesus Christ. Our temporal experiences are all directly related to the great plan of salvation that was ordained before the foundations of this world and the effects of the fall of Adam are all around us. Lucifer seeks the destruction of us all and is the cause of intense misery and woe when anyone chooses wickedness over faith and obedience. The great blessing is the knowledge of the redemption made effective through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. We must have hope in the face of such awful misery.

    I pray and hope for all who are affected by this tragedy an over abundance and added measures of hope and comfort by the Holy Ghost and an overshadowing of Love from the Savior and Redeemer.

  • Alpiner Alpine, UT
    July 11, 2014 9:15 a.m.

    If coming to the door of the victim's house dressed as a Fed Ex employee doesn't show pre meditation, I don't know what does.

    July 11, 2014 8:37 a.m.

    Guns don't kill people. People kill people. In this case a sick and violent man did this horrific act. Let's fix the people problem and stop trying to legislate something that won't work, is costly, and unconstitutional.

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    July 11, 2014 8:25 a.m.

    Bottom line: Guns DO kill people. If this perp had been armed with a knife, yes, someone would likely be dead. But not 6. The time it takes to kill someone with a knife or another object would have given the others time to escape. A gun is a much more efficient killing tool than any other legal device.

  • Spas Ivins, UT
    July 11, 2014 7:57 a.m.

    Chicago DOES NOT have the toughest gun laws in the country. The Chief of Police has been calling for tougher gun laws for a long time. In the meanwhile, the murders continue.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    July 11, 2014 7:10 a.m.

    Texas can't execute this guy fast enough. Killing people that are totally and completely innocent and not even involved in his problems is beyond the pale.

  • LittleStream Carson City, NV
    July 11, 2014 6:05 a.m.

    Good example of the failure of our judicial system in domestic violence cases. Good example of the failure of this country to protect its citizens. Good example of bad gun control laws.

  • Michael-D Riverton, UT
    July 11, 2014 3:00 a.m.

    Another shooting,, very sad for this family.. Obviously this fellow had problems.. It is unfortunate that we can't zap up a solution to regulate crazy.. It just doesn't work.. Who gets to decide the criteria?

    If someone demonstrates (like this fellow) a violent act.. the system already flags them and the NICS / FBI background check will deny the purchase of a firearm through a FFL. If a person is on meds,, does that revoke their right to own?

    Anyone who has purchased a gun legally knows that the FBI /NICS application for a firearm specifically queries the purchaser as to any.. domestic violence convictions..felonies, citizenship,,etc.. The article stated that this fellow had priors with domestic violence, a judge was involved so one would think that his problems are of record. If not, the system broke down,, like the Navy yard shooter..

    Some folks here tend to believe,, guns are the problem.. I disagree,, the facts do not support it.. This fellow could have used any weapon to inflict harm and death on his estranged family..

    We will have to learn more as the "facts' actually manifest themselves..

  • happy2BGrandma Pleasant Grove, UT
    July 11, 2014 1:52 a.m.

    Why was this man free to continue his violent behavior? He attacked people. He was violent in the presence of children. I fail to understand how a protective order was adequate to stop this threat to the community. He needed to be in prison with those that had also been violent. Is violence upon your spouse less a threat to society than if he would have randomly walked into a place of business and started hitting strangers? Read the frightening history in this story. No home, no community and no society should have the least bit of tolerance when it comes to abuse--whether that be to family or strangers. To me, this is the true story. This is the honest and hardline question that must be answered by our society. We need to take a hardline with the judicial system about this. We need to let them know that we expect to be protected from people with such violent historys by removing their presence and putting them behind bars. Help them to understand society takes their violence seriously. A piece of paper is not adequate in stopping someone with this kind of frightening behavior.

  • fowersjl Farmington, Utah
    July 11, 2014 1:22 a.m.

    Why do we call him an ex-Utahn? How about an ex-Californian, since that is where he lived last?
    I lived in Arizona for a few years, but don't call myself an ex-Arizonian. Just wondering.

  • Anonyme Orem, UT
    July 10, 2014 11:49 p.m.

    Ann Blake Tracy, the only “therapy” the article refers to is a court-ordered evaluation warranted by Haskell's violent behavior. There is no indication that he ever received antidepressant medication or even professional remedial therapy.

    It seems that when a story such as this is reported, someone will show up in the DN comments to claim antidepressants as the cause of the perpetrator's actions. It happened when the Joshua Boren story was first reported, and yet in the last few days we learned that no medications were found in his body. But we never see those commenters come back to admit their speculations were wrong. Some people willfully overlook the most likely cause, mental illness, in order to promote their anti-meds agenda.

    You make some bold claims about antidepressants but provide no citations to support them. You also refer to yourself as “Dr.” What exactly are your credentials in this area?

  • No One Of Consequence West Jordan, UT
    July 10, 2014 10:34 p.m.

    If he had been dealt with properly by the State of Utah or the State of California no one would be dead in the State of Texas. Horribly tragic story. I pray for the surviving girl.

    This article is very confusingly organized.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    July 10, 2014 10:19 p.m.

    It's time to take the guns away from guys like this. He loses his rights when he becomes violent.

  • djofraleigh raleigh, NC
    July 10, 2014 6:30 p.m.

    Why is this discussion about gun rights? This was the first reported use of a gun. As for mental health, he was to get an examination so he could be with his kids, but he didn't undergo that. Can't one be ordered?

    The man was reported a hands on physical threat to the ex-wife, to his own mother and sister. The court had ample opportunity to see that the man was dangerous and threatening. What did the court do, restraining orders and all? Nothing that took control of the man, just took away powers from him.

    By fleeing to a shelter, the wife protected herself & her kids, but what did that do to the husband? Not being with the children inflamed him, adn the served order on the day of the murders, set him off.

    What does a violent man have to do to have the court stop him before acting out?

  • Seriously people Columbus, NE, NE
    July 10, 2014 5:58 p.m.

    It doesn't matter what weapon he used. He could have killed them with anything. The problem is we don't take domestic violence seriously. Restraining orders are just a piece of paper if they are not enforced.

  • Born in Bountiful Provo, Utah
    July 10, 2014 5:39 p.m.

    So when will we recognize the need for greater mental health services and the need to suspend the gun rights of the mentally ill?

  • dogchow1 Salt Lake City, UT
    July 10, 2014 4:49 p.m.

    Chicago has the toughest gun laws in the country and one of the highest murder rates. These "anti-gun" laws only affect law-abiding people. Criminals, like this guy will break every restraining order and law to do what he wants anyway as seen here, including getting a weapon illegally, if necessary.
    The 2nd Amendment, like the 1st Amendment for freedom of speech applies to all citizens, whether we agree with the speech or not, whether we want to own a gun or not.
    The criminals and mentally deranged are the problem. The tool they used is not the criminal, unless you want to ban all knifes, hammers, cars, ad infinitum...

  • TandJ LaVerkin, Utah
    July 10, 2014 4:27 p.m.

    Lets hope that Texas does what it has in the past. Fast justice and equally fast execution. The perpetrator deserves execution which he would probably never get in Utah unfortunately. But, he is in Texas now, and lets hope Texas does not let us down.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    July 10, 2014 3:54 p.m.

    We need to find out if the weapons used were purchased legally by this guy. It appears that he had only a record of misdemeanors. If that is the case, he could have had legal "rights" to possess the gun(s).

    But remember, we don't need any reform of our Second Amendment "rights" to kill any time we want to.