A South Carolina father has been sentenced to death for killing his 5 children with his own hands after which he drove around with their bodies for 9 days.
Timothy Jones Jr., 37, was sentenced to death on Thursday, June 13, one week after he was convicted of five counts of murder.
The computer engineer with an $80,000-a-year job murdered his kids, ages 1 to 8, in their Lexington home in August 2014. Afterwards, he drove around with their bodies for nine days before dumping them in garbage bags on the side of a dirt road in Alabama.
Solicitor Rock Hubbard told jurors Jones has been selfish all his life and tried to break up his father’s second marriage because he wasn’t getting enough attention.
In his own marriage, he controlled his wife’s every decision. When his wife left him, Jones couldn’t stand that his control was over so he took his anger out on the kids. Whenever any of his kids indicated any intention of wanting to be with their mother instead of him, he mistreated them, Hubbard said.
Jones first killed 6-year-old son Nahtahn after the boy confessed on the phone to his mother, but not to him his father, that he broke an electrical outlet, Hubbard said. Over the next several hours, Jones got cigarettes, took his oldest daughter first so she wouldn’t call for help, and left the three other kids with their brother’s body.
In a confession, Jones said he strangled 7-year-old Elias with his hands and chased down 8-year-old Merah before choking her. He then used a belt to choke 2-year-old Gabriel and 1-year-old Abigail because he said his hands were too big.
After killing the children, Jones loaded their bodies into his SUV and drove around for nine days before dumping them in five black garbage bags on a dirt road near Camden, Alabama. He was arrested hours later after an officer at a traffic checkpoint in Smith County, Mississippi, said he smelled a horrible odour of decomposition.
During the trial, Jones’ father, stepmother, sister and two brothers all took the stand to ask that he be given life without parole, instead of the death sentence. Jones’ father removed his shirt to show the courtroom tattoos of his slain grandchildren.
Jones ex-wife, Ms Kyzer also requested mercy for her ex-husband even though she had said: “If I could personally rip his face off, I would.”
“He did not show my children any mercy by any means,” she said. “But my kids loved him and if I’m speaking on behalf of my kids and not myself, that’s what I have to say.”
Timothy Jones Jr. showed no emotion as the jury delivered the verdict after less than two hours of deliberation, according to TIME. Jones’ father, who was in court, hung his head in his hands as the verdict was read and other family members appeared to cry.
Jones is the second person to be sent to South Carolina’s death row in five years. The state has not executed anyone since 2011 and lacks the drugs to carry out lethal injection.