South Carolina father found guilty of murdering his five children aged 1 to 8 faces death sentence
37-year-old Timothy Jones Jr strangled eight-year-old Mera and seven-year-old Elias with his hands and used a belt to choke two-year-old Gabriel and one-year-old Abigail because his 'hands were too big'
A jury in Lexington County, South Carolina found 37-year-old Timothy Jones Jr guilty of murdering his five young children. The verdict has now allowed prosecutors to seek the death penalty, according to reports.
The jury reportedly considered the case for nearly six hours over two days before they returned to the five guilty verdicts for murder against Jones.
The same jury is also set to begin hearing evidence on Thursday from prosecutors who have deemed Jones as a selfish, evil father who decided that his children should rather die instead of staying with his ex-wife.
The prosecutors also believe that the 37-year-old should be given a death penalty for his crimes.
Jones was found guilty of killing his five children, aged one to eight, and then driving their bodies around in his vehicle for a week. The computer engineer allegedly shoved the bodies of eight-year-old Merah, seven-year-old Elias, six-year-old Nahthan, two-years-old Gabriel, and one-year-old Abigail, into his car and drove them around.
FBI Agent David Mackey, while testifying during Jones' trial in Lexington County, said that little Merah had witnessed her father killing her younger brother Elias. "So he goes to his daughter Merah Gracie and he kills her in the same manner" in August 2014.
The software engineer was granted custody of his children after his marriage fell apart.
I sat down tonight to read through all of the testimony in the Timothy Jones, Jr. trial & had to take several breaks.— Judi Gatson (@JudiGatson) May 29, 2019
Thank you to @CarolineHecker & @RussCongdon for your coverage and consummate professionalism in covering this heartbreaking case. https://t.co/DeBAa9XbKa pic.twitter.com/uxtBXObb8D
Jones' lawyers are reportedly expected to argue that their client was a doting, single father with whose mental problems began piling up until stress and drug use drove him over the edge, according to NBC News.
Jones confessed to exercising six-year-old Nahtahn until he died. The exercise was a punishment after the child broke an electrical outlet in his home.
According to prosecutors, after Nahtahn's death, Jones considered what was to be done next for several hours.
He reportedly watched a prison rape scene from a movie and headed to a store with his oldest child to purchase cigarettes, leaving the rest of the children at home with the body.
When he came back home, he decided to kill them all and strangled eight-year-old Mera and seven-year-old Elias with his hands, and used a belt to choke two-year-old Gabriel and one-year-old Abigail because his hands were too big.
Jones had written down a whole range of chilling plans on how to get rid of the bodies, which included "Head to campground," "Melt bodies," and "Saw bones to dust or small pieces... sanitation plant." He eventually buried the bodies of his children on a rural hillside near Camden, Alabama.
The case first came to notice of the authorities after he was arrested at a drink-driving checkpoint in Smith County, Mississippi, on September 6, 2014.
Authorities reportedly smelled a terrible odor coming from the vehicle, which they described as the "smell of death."
When they searched Jones' Cadillac Escalade car, the cops found a bucket of chemicals, blood, maggots and children's clothes.
Jones' attorney Boyd Young pleaded an insanity case, citing his client's mother's mental health, who is in a mental institution for over two decades after being diagnosed with schizophrenia.
Young, during the trial, attempted to suggest that Jones had the same illness too but his case was never diagnosed. The jury, however, did not agree with the argument.