Father who murdered his five children sentenced to death in United States court

Timothy Jones Jr. wipes his eyes during closing statements in his murder trial at the Lexington County Courthouse in Lexington Ky

Timothy Jones Jr. wipes his eyes during closing statements in his murder trial at the Lexington County Courthouse in Lexington Ky

A SC jury sentenced a man to death on Thursday after convicting him of murdering his five young children at their mobile home in 2014 before driving their decomposing bodies through several states and dumping them in Alabama.

The jury unanimously agreed on the death penalty Thursday for 37-year-old Timothy Jones Jr.in the slayings of his children, ages 1 to 8, in their Lexington home in August 2014.

If only one juror had voted to recommend a life sentence, he would have been spared the death penalty. Jones' defense team told the jury he is schizophrenic, but had not been diagnosed at the time of the alleged crime.

"He is a mass murderer."

Jones' lawyers say he deserves mercy because he was a good father with mental illness who snapped over drug use and single father stress.

"Tim Jones may love his family but there's someone he loves more, Tim Jones", Hubbard said.

Closing arguments began Monday, June 3, and 11th Circuit Solicitor Rick Hubbard III surmised the state's death penalty case.

During the week-long penalty phase of the trial, the jury saw graphic photos of police evidence and heard emotional testimony from the children's school teachers and relatives. With custody of his children, the computer engineer with an $80,000-a-year job mistreated any of them who showed any intention of wanting to be with their mother instead of him, Hubbard said. The mom, Amber Kyzer, recalled the kids' love for their father as her reason.

After stuffing their bodies in garbage bags, he loaded their remains into his Cadillac Escalade and drove for days through four states, sleeping in his SUV with the decomposing bodies in the back, before dumping them in a desolate part of Camden, Alabama.

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Jones admitting exercising his oldest child as a punishment until he collapsed and died.

Over the next several hours, Jones went and got cigarettes, taking his oldest daughter so she wouldn't call for help, and leaving the three other kids with their brother's body.

Jones said a "gremlin voice" told him to kill the rest of the children, a psychiatrist testified during the guilt phase of the trial.

In a confession, Jones said he strangled seven-year-old Elias with his hands and chased down eight-year-old Merah before choking her.

Next, he wrapped a belt around the necks of his 2-year-old son, Gabriel, and his youngest child, 1-year-old Abigail, and ended their lives, prosecutors say, reported Fox News.

But a lawyer for Jones told jurors they alone could show mercy - if not for a father who killed five kids with his own hands, then for a family that has seen so much death and still wants to love Jones, even through prison bars.

When his wife left him, Hubbard said, Jones couldn't stand that his control was over.

The state has not executed anyone since 2011 because it lacks the drugs to carry out lethal injection.

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