May 24

Death Penalty Trial Set for South Carolina Father Charged with Killing 5 Kids

A father from South Carolina who police said killed his five young children in their own home and then drove their bodies around for more than a week is now on trial. The Timothy Jones Jr. murder trial case resumed late Tuesday morning after an emotional Monday afternoon in the Lexington Country Courthouse.

Timothy Jones Jr. Trial

trial, south carolina, murder
via AP

He is charged with murder in the killing of his five children, ages 8, 7, 6, 2, and 1. Indictments said he strangled four of them and beat the other. He is pleading not guilty by reason of insanity.

Jones, 37, was a software engineer and was given custody of his children after his marriage fell apart. He struggled as a single father, however, there was evidence with the social workers that he had been working which shows he tried to rectify the situation.

The Charges

Jones has admitted to killing his children on the 28th of August, 2014 after picking the children up from school and daycare. The killings took place at their family home.

The South Carolina man was arrested on the 6th of September 2014, after a traffic stop in Smith County, Mississippi, where law enforcement officers discovered blood and handwritten notes on how to mutilate bodies in Jones’ car.

Details about how Jones had left the children’s bodies in plastic trash bags in a wooded area outside of Alabama surfaced after the investigation was conducted.

Jones has pled guilty by reason of insanity. His guilty plea would allow one of four possible outcomes in the trial: guilty, guilty by reason of insanity, not guilty by mental defect, or not guilty. If found guilty, the death penalty would not be automatic. Jurors would then be asked to consider extenuating circumstances and could sentence Jones to life without parole rather than death.

The trial could take the majority of May. If jurors would find Jones guilty of murder, the same jury will then hear the testimony about whether he should be sentenced to life in prison or the death penalty.

Mother of 5 Breaks Down During Testimony

Amber Kyzer was called to testify about her last interactions with Jones, formerly her husband of nine years. The trial was temporarily halted Monday as she collapsed on the witness stand and started to scream and sob for her children.

trial, south carolina, murder
via WLTX

Through most of her testimony, Kyzer maintained her composure. She wept into a tissue intermittently. But, when the prosecutors asked her to read a letter she once wrote to her children, it was too much to bear.


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