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July 19, 2019

Dad convicted of murdering his 5 children sentenced to death

June 17, 2019
Timothy Jones Jr. looks around the courtroom during closing arguments of his trial in Lexington, S.C. on Thursday. Jones, Jr. was found guilty of killing his five young children in 2014 and was sentenced to death on Thursday. (Tracy Glantz/AP)

A South Carolina man convicted of murdering his five children, was sentenced to death Thursday by the same jury that found him guilty.

The jury of seven men and five women returned a unanimous verdict against Timothy Jones Jr. in under two hours, reported The State.

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Timothy Jones, Sr. weeps as his son is sentenced to death for the killing of his 5 young children in 2014, Thursday, June 13 in Lexington, S.C.
Timothy Jones, Sr. weeps as his son is sentenced to death for the killing of his 5 young children in 2014, Thursday, June 13 in Lexington, S.C. (Tracy Glantz/AP)

They had a week earlier found 37-year-old Jones guilty on five counts of murder in the killing of Merah, 8; Elias, 7; Nahtahn, 6; Gabriel, 2; and Abigail Elaine, 1 — at the family’s home in Red Bank, S.C., in August 2014.

Jones admitted exercising Nahtahn as punishment until he collapsed and died, then deciding hours later to kill the other four children. With his hands he strangled Merah as she said, “I love you, Daddy,” and then Elias. He choked Gabriel and Abigail with a belt.

He then drove around with them in his car for nine days, dumped them on an Alabama roadside before being arrested in Mississippi.

“These five little babies finally got justice,” Solicitor Rick Hubbard said, according to The Post and Courier.

The State said he’ll join 37 other death row inmates in Columbia, S.C., all of whom have a maximum of two murder counts.

11th Circuit Solicitor Rick Hubbard delivers closing arguments, showing pictures of the Jones children during the sentencing phase of the trial of Timothy Jones Jr. in Lexington, S.C. on Thursday.
11th Circuit Solicitor Rick Hubbard delivers closing arguments, showing pictures of the Jones children during the sentencing phase of the trial of Timothy Jones Jr. in Lexington, S.C. on Thursday. (Tracy Glantz/AP)

The jury delivered its sentence in an hour and 50 minutes despite pleas of numerous relatives to give Jones a slightly more lenient sentence of life in prison without parole. His ex-wife also asked that mercy be shown — though she said it was more because of her feelings about the death penalty than about his crime — and said she would respect whatever the jury decided.

The defense had claimed that Jones was mentally ill and thus not guilty by reason of insanity, or guilty but mentally ill, The State reported. His attorney, Casey Secor, acknowledged the depravity of the crimes but said a family history of abuse, and Jones’s mother’s schizophrenia and institutionalization, should mitigate the punishment.

But Hubbard said no amount of trauma or mental illness could justify what Jones had done.

Hubbard called Jones a monster and a mass murderer, “the worst of the worst,” The State said, implying that he knew perfectly well what he was doing.

“Is there any crime more horrible than what you have heard about when you came into the courtroom?” Hubbard asked the jury. “Is there any crime worse than this? He chose to be a murderer.”

With News Wire Services

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