Crime: Man accused of killing his 5 children: Defense offers reasons why; prosecutors blame rage - PressFrom - US
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CrimeMan accused of killing his 5 children: Defense offers reasons why; prosecutors blame rage

00:00  16 may  2019
00:00  16 may  2019 Source:   wyff4.com

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Man accused of killing his 5 children: Defense offers reasons why; prosecutors blame rage© WYFF News 4 Timothy Jones Jr.: Accused of killing his 5 children

The death penalty trial of Timothy Jones Jr., who is accused of killing his five children, is underway.

Jones is charged with five counts of murder.

Investigators said the 37-year-old computer engineer killed his children -- Mera, 8, Elias, 7, Nahtahn, 6, Gabriel, 2, and Abigail, 1 -- after picking them up from school and day care on Aug. 28, 2014.

Police said he drove the children’s bodies around for a week, buried them in Alabama and was arrested in Mississippi.

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In the defense's opening statement Tuesday, Jones’ lawyer said his client was insane because of the infidelity of Amber Jones, his ex-wife, the struggle of raising five young children on his own and a feeling he was failing God. Defense attorneys say they plan to argue he had schizophrenia and did not know right from wrong.

Prosecutors said he killed his children in their Lexington home in August 2014, strangling four of them after killing his middle child in a rage after his son ruined an electrical outlet.

Jones was stopped by police on Sept. 6, 2014, near his parents' home in Raleigh, Mississippi, on suspicion of driving under the influence.

Three days later, he led investigators to a dirt road in Camden, Alabama, where the children’s bodies were found.

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Jones was eventually extradited back to South Carolina.

Indictments against Jones alleged that the children were killed “by means of strangulation and/or other violent means or instruments” in Lexington County.

"Jones stated that he believed the children were going to kill him, chop him up and feed him to the dogs," an arrest warrant said.

Lawyers and the judge say the trial could go on for several weeks.

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Timeline of Jones case:

The following information is compiled from Lexington County Family Court files and S.C. Department of Social Services records. WISTV contributed substantially to this report.

March 2001: Timothy Jones Jr., 19, arrested on a cocaine charge

September 2001: Jones is charged in a crime spree including burglary, car theft and forged checks

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March 2002: Jones is sentenced to seven years in Illinois prison

January 2003: Jones is released from prison

June 2004: Timothy Jones, 22, and Amber, 18, marry in a suburb west of Chicago

2006: Merah Gracie Jones is born

2007: Elias Jones is born

2008: Nahtahn Jones is born

2011:

Timothy Jones graduates from Mississippi State University with degree in computer engineering and shortly after, gets job with Intel in Columbia, S.C.

Sept. 5: A complaint made to DSS after Jones family visits relatives in Mississippi

Sept. 16, 22: DSS visits home, unsuccessful at making contact

Sept. 29: DSS find pregnant Amber, home-schooled children 3, 4, 5 clean and in good health and some clutter in the home

Sept. 30: DSS finds home cleaner

Oct. 18: DSS finds home cluttered, air vent in floor uncovered

Oct. 21: DSS finds home cleaner

Oct. 24: A supervisor recommends case be unfounded

Oct. 28: Timothy Jones is hostile toward DSS caseworker during a visit. Police assist. Jones given list of what needs to be cleaned/fixed. Family stays in hotel. DSS says the case is for risk of injury due to condition of home, not neglect

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Oct. 31: DSS finds only Timothy Jones at home and house extremely clean.

Nov. 4: A supervisor lists case as unfounded

Dec. 9: The case is reassigned to new DSS caseworker

2012:

Gabriel Jones is born

Feb, 25: DSS finds children in good health and unharmed and home meets minimal standard.

April 25: DSS finds home meets minimal standard. Timothy and Amber Jones have separated and children are living with Amber

Early May: Timothy Jones establishes care with a marriage and family therapist

May 29: DSS visits and provides a plan to address housekeeping issues. Amber Jones tells DSS she filed domestic violence report previous weekend. DSS suggests she go to shelter, but Amber refuses

June 7: Timothy and Amber Jones file for divorce. Timothy Jones takes three oldest children to his father’s home in Mississippi

June 11: Timothy Jones says he found his wife with the 19-year-old next-door neighbor at 7:30 a.m. and says she is having an affair with him

June 18: Amber Jones tells DSS her husband took children to live with his father. DSS tells Amber Jones to contact police and an attorney and to go to a shelter

June 26: Amber Jones goes to Mississippi to get children, but husband’s relatives refuse to turn them over

July 30: Timothy Jones is granted temporary custody of the four children

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Aug. 16: Jones takes the four children to Mississippi. Amber Jones, who is six-months pregnant, goes to Ohio to visit her mother

Oct. 16: DSS closes the case, saying, “Risk is reduced and services no longer needed.”

Dec. 2: The Jones’ fifth child, Abigail Elizabeth, whose name was later changed to Elaine Marie, is born

2013:

Feb. 8: Amber and Timothy Jones attend divorce hearing. The children are in Mississippi with Timothy Jones' family

Sept. 2: Amber and Timothy Jones agree to terminate their marriage upon written agreement

October: The Jones' divorce is final and Timothy Jones is awarded primary custody. At the time of the divorce, Amber Jones is 27 and Timothy Jones is 31.

2014:

May 5: SC Department of Social Services and deputies interview Jones after allegations of abuse. Children tell DSS father likes to “horseplay” and makes them do exercises for punishment. Children do not seem afraid of father, DSS says. One had a mark on his neck, according to DSS.

May 6: DSS goes to children’s schools for follow up and sees no marks on them

May 15: DSS finds family celebrating the oldest child’s birthday with cupcakes. Jones tells DSS the children’s mother has not seen them in four months and has walked out on him for a younger man. Caseworkers says Jones’ interaction with the children is good.

June 16: Timothy Jones admits to DSS that he has physically disciplined the children and DSS provides a safety plan with no physical discipline allowed. The house is reportedly clean.

Aug. 7: DSS and deputies examine children after an allegation of physical abuse. (They do not release who made the complaint.) A case worker says Jones appeared to be overwhelmed "as he is unable to maintain the home, but the children appear to be clean, groomed and appropriately dressed." DSS has 45 days for a follow-up visit.

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Murder is an offence under the common law of England and Wales. It is considered the most serious form of homicide, in which one person kills another with the intention to cause either death or serious injury unlawfully.

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Aug. 28: Jones picks up his three older children at their elementary school and his two other children from their day care.

Also on Aug, 28: Jones is charged with unlawful neglect after he puts his 1-year-old in unreasonable risk of harm when he forces her and four of her siblings out of a car near a Walmart in Lexington County, according to deputies.

Sept. 1: Jones stops at a Dunkin Donuts in Spartanburg during a drive that took him through South and North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi. Investigators believe the children were already dead and their bodies were in Jones’ Cadillac Escalade.

Sept. 2: Jones’ three school-age children are again are absent from their elementary school and they miss a scheduled visit to their mother’s home.

Sept. 3: Amber Jones reports her ex-husband and the children; Merah, 8, Elias, 7, Nahtahn, 6, Gabriel, 2, and Elaine Marie, 1, missing and the search for them begins.

Sept. 6: Jones is stopped at a vehicle safety checkpoint in Smith County, Mississippi. He is arrested on DUI and drug possession charges and held in jail. Officers determine that the children have been reported missing in S.C. Blood and cleaning materials are found in car and the absence of the children indicates foul play, investigators say.

Sept. 8: Lexington County charges Jones with unlawful conduct toward a child in order to hold him while the search for the children continues.

Sept. 9: Jones begins to cooperate with investigators and leads them to the bodies of his five children on a rural road in Alabama. Lexington County sheriff’s crime scene investigators travel to Alabama to process evidence.

Sept. 10: Jones signs a waiver of extradition.

Sept. 11: Jones is brought back to Lexington County from Mississippi, and is charged with five counts of murder.

Sept. 12: Jones waives his first court appearance, saying he didn’t want to further the “spectacle.”

2015:

December: Eleventh Circuit Solicitor Donald Myers served notice that prosecutors will seek death penalty.

2016:

April: Amber Jones files lawsuit against S.C. Department of Social Services

2017:

September: Amber Jones files lawsuit against five retailers she says sold her ex-husband synthetic marijuana. She says he was under the influence of the drugs when he killed the children.

2018:

February trial scheduled, but prosecutors end up pushing it back.

2019:

May 2: Jury selection begins in the death penalty trial of Timothy Jones jr.

May 14: Opening statements are made and the trial gets underway

READ MORE:Man accused of killing his 5 children: Defense offers reasons why; prosecutors blame rage

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