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Death Penalty Trial Set for Timothy Ray Jones, Jr. in 2014 SC Murder of his Five Children - Page 3
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Thread: Death Penalty Trial Set for Timothy Ray Jones, Jr. in 2014 SC Murder of his Five Children

  1. #21
    Administrator Helen's Avatar
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    Defense files motions in case of Lexington County father accused of killing his five children

    By Harrison Cahill
    The State

    LEXINGTON COUNTY, SC - The defense team for Timothy Ray Jones Jr., the Lexington County father accused of killing his five children before dumping their bodies in Alabama, filed a motion Wednesday to see all of the evidence against their client.

    Public defender Robert Madsen, who is representing Jones, filed two motions to see all of the evidence favorable to his client, according to Lexington County court records.

    On Sept. 8, 2014, 33-year-old Jones was charged with with five counts of murder in connection with the death of his children – identified as Merah, 8; Elias, 7; Nahtahn, 6; Gabriel, 2; and Elaine Marie, 1 – after he led Lexington County investigators to the Alabama site where he said he dumped their bodies.

    Investigators said they believe the children were killed some time around Aug. 28, 2014, due to the advanced state of decomposition of their bodies. Court documents revealed that investigators believe Jones killed four of his children by strangulation, while the fifth died of other violent means.

    Solicitor Donnie Meyers has not yet filed for the death penalty in the case.

    The case is the largest mass murder in recent Midlands history.

    http://www.thestate.com/news/local/c...e23562070.html

    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian

    “There are some people who just do not deserve to live,”
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

    “Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence"
    - Edgar Allan Poe

  2. #22
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    Columbia attorney talks about how he’d defend man accused in children’s deaths

    By Harrison Cahill
    The State

    LEXINGTON COUNTY - As the defense gears up in the case of Timothy Ray Jones Jr., the Lexington County father accused of killing his five children and burying them in shallow graves in Alabama, the possibility of a death penalty trial lingers.

    Jack Swerling knows what it’s like preparing for a death penalty case.

    The Columbia-area defense attorney nicknamed “Mr. Murder” has defended up to 13 of them, including some of the most infamous murderers in South Carolina, such as Lexington County’s Larry Gene Bell and serial killer Donald “Pee Wee” Gaskins.

    Even though Swerling has a wealth of knowledge and experience when it comes to death penalty defense, he said he does not envy anyone who is preparing for a potential death penalty case.

    “There’s nothing like defending a death penalty case, because of the consequences and because of what it means if you lose,” Swerling said. “The stress is huge.”

    Robert Madsen, the public defender who is representing 33-year-old Jones, filed two motions last week asking the state to disclose all evidence it has against Jones that could be favorable for him later in court. Although 11th Circuit Solicitor Donnie

    Meyers has not announced he will pursue the death penalty against Jones, the defense seems to be is gearing up for it.

    On Sept. 8, 2014, 33-year-old Jones was charged with five counts of murder in connection with the death of his children – identified as Merah, 8; Elias, 7; Nahtahn, 6; Gabriel, 2; and Elaine Marie, 1 – after he led Lexington County investigators to the children’s bodies in an Alabama field. The case is the largest mass murder in recent Midlands history.

    Jones is accused of killing the children in their Red Bank home, then driving around the Southeast for more than a week before being stopped on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs at a traffic safety check in Raleigh, Miss., authorities have said. The children were not with him.

    His vehicle contained “a large amount of blood and handwritten notes with directions to kill and mutilate bodies,” according to an arrest warrant, and a subsequent search of the vehicle revealed “a significant amount of bleach products (aroma) along with blood.”

    Jones, who had custody of the children after he and their mother divorced, “believed the children were going to kill him, chop him up and feed him to the dogs,” according to Lexington County arrest warrants.

    Jones was a computer engineer at an Intel Corp. office in the St. Andrews area of Columbia, where he reported making nearly $72,000 a year, according to divorce records.

    Madsen, like others in the case, cannot talk to the media because of a judge’s gag order.

    “Right now, it’s a search and investigation of the facts, the reports, the statements and anything you find out about the case,” Swerling said in reference to the motions. “It’s standard to file the motions.”

    Swerling said the two types of motions that Jones’ attorneys filed force state prosecutors to turn over all evidence, including statements, police reports, test results and forensic evidence, that is favorable for the defense. That evidence and documentation could help bolster the defense’s argument to not have Jones face the death penalty, should such a case be pursued.

    “If it becomes a death penalty case, you have to look at all types of resources and records,” Swerling said. “It’s a very intensive type of investigation, where you are getting a detective to look at the all facts and also to find out what makes a person tick.”

    While all of that is par for the course when preparing for a defense, Swerling said the next thing that will happen is the completion of a psychiatric examination designed to make sure the suspect is fit to stand trial.

    The process involves a forensic psychiatrist meeting with the suspect and determining whether the person meets the M’Naghten Rule, which is a test that determines whether a person accused of a crime was sane at the time of its commission and, therefore, criminally responsible for the wrongdoing. If the suspect is found to be mentally ill, the defense could claim insanity.

    Of course, the state then has the right to have the defendant examined by a state psychiatrist to either refute or corroborate the forensic psychiatrist’s evaluation.

    When it comes time for trial, a death penalty case is split into two parts: proving guilt or innocence and then determining punishment. Swerling said if it comes to the second phase of the trial, this is where defense attorneys look for ways in which evidence might have been mishandled and other ways they might be able to tilt the jury in favor of the defendant.

    “I don’t think people realize what lawyers do, they think they go to work, go home and party. A real trial lawyer learns to live with stress,” Swerling said. “Every day you find something else that you can find or that you need to do or someone else you need to talk to or some other test you need to do.”

    Swerling said as the stress builds in searching under every unturned rock for anything that could help a client’s defense, early nights mean going to bed at 1:30 a.m. and seeing your family for only an hour on the weekend.

    “You’re working late at night, and you are trying to do everything you can to make sure you have everything you can,” Swerling said. “You’re putting yourself through a physical and mental test.

    “It’s a young man and young woman’s game. Stress affects you in your older age.”

    TIMELINE: TIMOTHY JONES JR. CASE

    ▪ Aug. 28, 2014: Timothy Ray Jones Jr., 32, of Lexington picks up his three school-age children at their elementary school and his two other children at their day care. This is the last time that anyone reports seeing Jones with his children.

    ▪ Aug. 29, 2014: Jones’ three school-age children are absent from their elementary school.

    ▪ Tuesday, Sept. 2: Jones’ three school-age children again are absent from their elementary school.

    ▪ Sept. 3, 2014: Jones’ ex-wife reports Jones and the couple’s five children missing to the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department. Jones had been scheduled to bring the children to stay with his ex-wife Sept. 2. Deputies enter Jones and the five children in missing persons on the National Crime Information Center computer database.

    ▪ Sept. 6, 2014: Jones is detained at a vehicle safety checkpoint in Smith County (Miss.) after sheriff’s deputies learn that he and his five children have been reported missing. Smith County sheriff’s deputies arrest Jones on charges of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and possessing synthetic marijuana and drug paraphernalia. Jones is booked at the county jail in Raleigh, Miss.

    ▪ Sept. 6, 2014: Smith County sheriff’s deputies contact Lexington County detectives, telling them that Jones’ five children were not with Jones. Lexington County sheriff’s detectives have reason to believe, for the first time, that foul play is involved. Jones’ ex-wife and other relatives provide information to law enforcement agencies.

    ▪ Sept. 8, 2014: Lexington County detectives obtain an arrest warrant for Jones on a charge of unlawful conduct toward a child by a legal custodian. Smith County holds him until Lexington County detectives can serve the arrest warrant on Jones. A Lexington County detective, a South Carolina Law Enforcement Division agent and an FBI agent go to Mississippi to speak with Jones and relatives of Jones who live nearby. Jones cooperates.

    ▪ Sept. 9, 2014: Jones leads investigators to a dirt road off Alabama Highway 10 in Wilcox County, to five sets of what detectives think are human remains. Lexington County crime scene investigators travel to Alabama.

    ▪ Sept. 16, 2014: Public defender Robert Madsen is appointed for Jones.

    ▪ Sept. 25, 2014: Jones’ attorneys file 14 motions, asking for a gag order and that Jones not be made to appear in court in jail clothing or shackles.

    ▪ Sept. 30, 2014: Circuit Judge Thomas Russo approves a gag order on all comments outside of legal proceedings and documents.

    ▪ Jan. 12, 2015: A grand jury indicts Jones on murder charges. Documents allege Jones strangled four of the children and beat 6-year-old Nahtahn to death.

    ▪ June 3, 2015: Jones’ defense attorneys motion to have the state turn over all evidence favorable to their client.

    ▪ WHAT’S NEXT: Jones is undergoing psychiatric examination by forensic investigators to determine if he understood right from wrong at the time of the killings and whether he is of sound mind to stand trial.

    http://www.heraldonline.com/news/sta...e23631829.html

    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian

    “There are some people who just do not deserve to live,”
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

    “Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence"
    - Edgar Allan Poe

  3. #23
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    Father accused of killing 5 children faces death penalty

    LEXINGTON COUNTY, SC - Timothy Ray Jones Jr. is facing the death penalty in connection with the deaths of his five children in Red Bank more than 15 months ago.

    Eleventh Circuit Solicitor Donald Myers served notice of that decision at a court hearing Wednesday in Lexington County attended by Jones in his first court appearance in more than a year in what is one of the largest mass murders in the Midlands in decades.

    Jones listened intently when consulted privately by his lawyers but said little during the hearing other than to confirm his identity and request a jury trial.

    He often stared at the wall ahead, occasionally turning to listen to a comment. He was dressed in a red sweater and khaki pants, wearing glasses with his head shaved.

    Jones is charged with five counts of murder in the deaths of his children – Merah, 8, Elias, 7, Nahtahn, 6, Gabriel, 2, and Elaine, 1. Authorities believe he killed the children at the family home in Red Bank on Aug. 28, 2014, after picking them up from school and day care.

    Authorities eventually found the bodies buried in shallow graves in Alabama. The traffic stop ended his odyssey of more than a week of driving through the Southeast, the bodies of the children in plastic garbage bags in his SUV for part of that trip, authorities have said.

    He told investigators he believed his children planned to kill him and then “chop him up and feed him to the dogs,” according to an arrest warrant revealed in court after authorities blacked out that detail beforehand.

    The death penalty announcement was no surprise for Jones, who turns 34 on Dec. 20, since his legal team has said from the start they were preparing for that.

    Myers did not reveal any further details of the crime in making his announcement. He read the notice of his intent and gave a copy to Jones’ lawyers, public defenders Boyd Young and Rob Madsen.

    Circuit Judge Knox McMahon ordered a psychiatric evaluation of Jones at the request of prosecutors.

    “Competency is something that needs to be addressed,” Deputy Solicitor Shawn Graham said. “Our belief is that it will come into play at trial.”

    McMahon’s decision came after the judge read what he said was a confidential report indicating Jones made “irrational statements” during confinement in a state prison since his arrest.

    Young argued against allowing the examination until his legal team finishes reviewing more than 6,000 pages of investigative reports and other documents.

    Until that is done, it’s too soon to say if the defense will raise issues about Jones’ competency to stand trial, Young said.

    Young also expressed concern that Jones could inadvertently provide information that prosecutors might use against him at trial, but McMahon said that won’t be allowed.

    Few details are known about what happened, what drove Jones and what he told law enforcement. The court has imposed a gag order on all involved with the trial to prevent disclosure of some findings about the killings before a trial.

    However, the indictments – one for each child – say Jones beat Nahtahn to death and strangled the other four.

    Memories of the youngsters’ deaths remain strong across the 758-square-mile county.

    The divorced father, who worked for a computer technology company in Columbia, had custody of the children after a 10-year marriage with his wife, Amber, ended in divorce in October 2013.

    Authorities began looking for the children after their mother reported them missing Sept. 3, 2014.

    Jones was stopped Sept. 6, 2014, at a traffic safety checkpoint in Raleigh, Miss., on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The site is near where his parents live.

    His vehicle contained “a large amount of blood and handwritten notes with directions to kill and mutilate bodies,” according to an arrest warrant. It added that a search of the vehicle revealed “a significant amount of bleach products (aroma) along with blood.” Traces of synthetic marijuana also were found in the vehicle, police said.

    The children’s bodies were found three days later on a hillside outside Camden, Ala., after Jones led investigators there.

    Shortly after his arrest, Columbia attorney Aimee Zmroczek, hired by Jones’ parents, said his mental condition needed to be evaluated since he had been treated in the past for problems she would not specify.

    Jones served a little more than a year in prison in Illinois on charges of car theft, burglary and forgery before his marriage, records show.

    http://www.thestate.com/news/local/a...#storylink=cpy
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  4. #24
    Administrator Helen's Avatar
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    Mother of 5 slain kids: SC agency could have stopped deaths

    By Meg Kinnard
    Minneapolis Star Tribune

    COLUMBIA, S.C. — The mother of five South Carolina children who police say were killed by their father in 2014 says the state's social services agency knew the father was a threat and did nothing to stop him.

    The allegations are part of a lawsuit filed last week by Amber Jones accusing the Department of Social Services of wrongful death and infliction of pain and suffering.

    Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against her ex-husband. Authorities say Timothy Ray Jones Jr. killed his five children — ages 8, 7, 6, 2 and 1 — at their Lexington County home in 2014 and drove around with their bodies in trash bags for nine days before dumping them in an Alabama field.

    Jones was arrested in Mississippi after a deputy said he smelled the stench of death coming from the SUV at a traffic checkpoint.

    A Social Services spokeswoman declined to comment on the lawsuit, which gives a detailed chronology of Jones' criminal past, including 2001 convictions for drug possession and forgery. It also notes his 2004 marriage to Amber Jones and the subsequent births of their five children.

    By 2011, the family lived in Batesburg-Leesville, where, according to the lawsuit, Social Services received a report of child abuse and neglect, piles of trash at the home as well as a report Jones had threatened to shoot a neighbor's dog.

    Caseworkers came to the family's home multiple more times that year, even calling law enforcement after Jones became violent and accused a caseworker of "ruining people's lives." But, according to the suit, no action was ever taken to discipline Jones or remove the children.

    The complaint documents multiple additional instances in which Jones threatened the children's mother, who in 2012 made a criminal domestic violence complaint against him. The couple ultimately had a fifth child and then divorced in 2013, with Jones being awarded primary custody.

    Over the next year, according to the lawsuit, teachers reported abuse claims to local Social Services workers after seeing bruises on three of the five children. A baby-sitter made similar claims. In August 2014, the agency contacted law enforcement, saying Jones didn't want to return his children to public school "because he feared the school would report the beatings."

    Three weeks later, Jones picked up all five children from school and day care and killed them at the family home, authorities have said. Four children were strangled, and one was beaten to death.

    Many of the claims mirror information in case files previously released by the Department of Social Services. Authorities never found anything serious enough to take the children away, but the documents show Jones as a single father and computer engineer struggling to raise his children.

    "Dad appears to be overwhelmed as he is unable to maintain the home, but the children appear to be clean, groomed and appropriately dressed," a case worker wrote Aug. 13, two weeks before the children's disappearance.

    Defense attorneys have suggested Jones suffered from mental problems, and an arrest warrant said he feared his children were going to kill him, chop him up and feed him to dogs. A judge in December ordered a psychiatric evaluation, and no trial date has been set.

    http://www.startribune.com/mother-of...ths/377161451/
    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian

    “There are some people who just do not deserve to live,”
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

    “Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence"
    - Edgar Allan Poe

  5. #25
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    Lexington Co. mom says this drug caused ex-husband to kill their 5 kids

    By Tim Flach
    The State

    LEXINGTON COUNTY, SC - Timothy Ray Jones Jr. was “under the intoxicating influence” of synthetic marijuana when he allegedly killed his five children in their Red Bank home three years ago, his former wife says.

    The claim comes in a lawsuit seeking damages from five Lexington County retailers that Amber Jones says sold him the product.

    The lawsuit doesn’t say how often Timothy Jones used the synthetic marijuana K-2, sold as Spice.

    “These substances are well-known to be severely addictive and are well-known to cause numerous physical and psychological changes in people,” the lawsuit says. “These substances are well-known to cause both auditory and visual hallucinations.”

    It’s the first suggestion of why the murders happened.

    The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages from Lexington Ink and its successor entity Tatway Tattoos; Time Warp; and Alibaba’s Pipe Emporium and its successor entity T&N Smoke as well as their owners and one employee of Lexington Ink and Tatway.

    Traces of synthetic marijuana were found in Timothy Jones’ vehicle after he was arrested a week after the murders, police have said.

    Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Jones. 35, for what is one of the largest mass murders in the Columbia area in decades.

    He is charged with five counts of murder in the deaths of his children – Merah, 8, Elias, 7, Nahtahn, 6, Gabriel, 2, and Elaine, 1. Authorities believe he killed the children on Aug. 28, 2014, after picking them up from school and day care.

    Indictments – one for each child – say he beat Nahtahn to death and strangled the other four.

    The lawsuit by Amber Jones was filed in Lexington County Circuit Court on the third anniversary of the slayings.

    Amber Jones also sued the state Department of Social Services last year, claiming the agency failed numerous times to safeguard the children despite many reports that their father was a threat to their lives and well-being.

    Timothy Jones told investigators he believed his children planned to kill him and then “chop him up and feed him to the dogs,” according to an arrest warrant revealed in court.

    Beyond that, few details are known about what drove Jones and what he told law enforcement. A court-imposed gag order prevents disclosure of some findings and comments from prosecutors, defense lawyers and investigators before a still unscheduled trial.

    Synthetic marijuana makers continually change the composition of their product as authorities try to outlaw it, the lawsuit said.

    That means users “have no idea how intensely the chemical will affect them and thereby are deprived of the ability to intelligently determine whether they pose a danger to themselves or others,” it said.

    Timothy Jones, who worked for a computer technology company in Columbia, had custody of the children after his 10-year marriage ended in divorce in October 2013.

    Authorities began looking for the children after Amber Jones reported them missing Sept. 3, 2014.

    Timothy Jones was stopped Sept. 6, 2014, at a traffic safety checkpoint in Raleigh, Miss., on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The site is near where his parents live.

    His vehicle contained “a large amount of blood and handwritten notes with directions to kill and mutilate bodies,” according to an arrest warrant. It added that a search of the vehicle revealed “a significant amount of bleach products (aroma) along with blood.”

    Traces of synthetic marijuana were found in the vehicle, police have said.

    The traffic stop ended his odyssey of more than a week of driving through the Southeast, the bodies of the children in plastic garbage bags in his SUV for part of that trip, authorities have said.

    The children’s bodies were found three days later on a hillside outside Camden, Ala., after Jones led investigators there.

    http://www.thestate.com/news/article171297427.html
    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian

    “There are some people who just do not deserve to live,”
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

    “Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence"
    - Edgar Allan Poe

  6. #26
    Senior Member CnCP Legend CharlesMartel's Avatar
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    Death penalty trial upcoming for father accused of killing 5 kids in Lexington County

    By Angie Jackson
    The Charleston Post-Courier

    Down a dirt road, toward the back of an overgrown lawn strewn with children's toys and garbage, a warning sign once hung above the doorframe of a mobile home.

    "Is there life after death? Trespass here and find out," read the message, accompanied by an illustration of a handgun.

    Three years ago, this trailer captured the interest of reporters and locals alike in Red Bank, a small community 15 miles west of Columbia. Visitors clogged the dead-end road, vying for a peek of the home where Timothy Ray Jones Jr. lived. Stunned onlookers wondered what could have driven him to kill his five kids, as authorities alleged.

    The murder case against Jones, 35, has since inched forward with little action or fanfare following his arrest that made national headlines in 2014. And now, with his death penalty trial tentatively scheduled for February, residents of the Lexington County community that mourned the Jones children say the public has all but forgotten about the case and the five youngsters.

    After the news trucks packed up, people seemed to move on "almost immediately," said Heather Gates, a resident of South Lake Drive, where Jones lived with his kids, aged 1 to 8.

    "It felt like, wow, just that quick, something so tragic can be forgotten so quickly," she said. "I don’t think people want to remember that kind of stuff. As long as they can bury their head in the sand, they’re good."

    As another neighbor, Louis Zeibert, put it: "Pretty much everyone forgot the guy's name."

    Jones continues to spend his days behind bars awaiting trial. New tenants, a family from out of state, moved into his former mobile home several years ago, neighbors said.

    The trailer is where investigators said Jones strangled four of his kids and beat the fifth child to death. He reportedly drove their bodies across four states for nine days before dumping them in a wooded area in rural Alabama. Warrants later revealed that Jones said he feared his kids were going to kill him, cut him up and "feed him to the dogs."

    His ex-wife, Amber Jones, who is the children's mother, in August filed a lawsuit against several businesses she alleges sold him synthetic marijuana, or spice. The lawsuit states Timothy Jones was under the influence of the drug at the time of the killings.

    She also filed suit against the state Department of Social Services last year, claiming the agency received multiple reports of child abuse and knew Timothy Jones was a threat but failed to protect the kids. He had primary custody of the children.

    Amber Jones' lawyer in the lawsuit against DSS, Columbia attorney Dick Harpootlian, said she is looking forward to getting her ex-husband's criminal prosecution over with "so she can move on to the extent possible with her life."

    A gag order has prevented all potential trial participants from speaking out about the murder case.

    The children's obituaries referred to them earning their "angel wings." The oldest, Merah, 8, had long chestnut brown hair and a big smile, absent a front tooth in the photo that ran with her obituary. Elias, 7, was remembered as a lover of the outdoors who collected critters. Six-year-old Nahtahn was a prankster who wanted to be a sheriff when he grew up, like the character Woody from "Toy Story." Gabriel, 2, boasted a "contagious" smile and big blue eyes. The youngest, 1-year-old Elaine Marie, was a sweet baby who loved attention.

    The kids are never far from stone carver Ron Clamp's mind at Memorial Design in West Columbia, where a framed illustration of a statue that was to be dedicated to the children hangs in his office. Clamp planned to create a 10-foot granite statue of an angel protecting five children after a motorcycle club approached him to design a memorial to draw attention to child abuse in 2014.

    Fundraising for the memorial has been postponed because prosecutors and others worried the statue, proposed for a park across from the Lexington County courthouse, could lead to a mistrial in the murder case if the defense claimed it unduly influenced jurors, Clamp said.

    He hopes to one day create the statue to raise awareness.

    "It was a sad part of the community’s history," Clamp said.

    On a Sunday afternoon, while serving bottles of beer to regulars at Charlie's Sports Break, bartender Kim Cornett said it still pains her to think about the Jones children, whom she described as innocent victims robbed of a "chance to live their life." But their deaths aren't something people in her social circle discuss anymore. For some, it's too painful.

    "There for a while, it was just like Dylann Roof," said Cornett, referencing Roof's ties to Red Bank. The self-avowed white supremacist lived in the Red Bank community as a teen and attended White Knoll High School until 2010. Five years later, he returned to Red Bank to stay with friend Joey Meek before carrying out the mass shooting of nine black worshipers at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston.

    "We talked about that for a little while, but we don’t discuss it no more. We just deal with it in our own way," Cornett said.

    Gates, the South Lake Drive resident, is often reminded of the Jones children, who were always quiet and polite when they played with her boys. She thinks of the family when she spots a black Cadillac Escalade, like the SUV Jones drove, and when families with young kids move into the neighborhood.

    The case is still bewildering. Jones appeared "normal," Gates said. He was the type of neighbor to wave back when neighbors said hello.

    Gates' eyes filled with tears as she explained how the killings changed her worldview, causing her to be more suspicious of others.

    "I hope with all my heart it never happens again here, or anywhere for that matter," she said, "but definitely not so close to home. I pray for that all the time."

    http://www.postandcourier.com/news/d...023d4ef2c.html

  7. #27
    Administrator Helen's Avatar
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    Lexington County dad killed his 5 kids, police say. Now he has a trial date

    By Teddy Kulmala
    The State

    LEXINGTON COUNTY, SC - A trial date has been set for the Lexington County father accused of killing his five children in 2014.

    Jury selection for Timothy Ray Jones Jr. will begin Oct. 15, according to an order filed Thursday in Lexington County Circuit Court. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against Jones, 36, who is charged with five counts of murder in the deaths of his children – Merah, 8; Elias, 7; Nahtahn, 6; Gabriel, 2; and Elaine, 1.

    Investigators say Jones killed the children Aug. 28, 2014, after picking them up from school and day care.

    Four of the children were strangled, according to indictments. Nahtahn was beaten to death, the indictments say.

    Authorities began looking for the children after their mother reported them missing Sept. 3, 2014.

    Jones was stopped by police on Sept. 6, 2014, in Raleigh, Miss., for driving under the influence. The traffic safety checkpoint was near where his parents live.

    Inside Jones’ vehicle, police found “a large amount of blood and handwritten notes with directions to kill and mutilate bodies,” according to an arrest warrant. It added that a search of the vehicle revealed “a significant amount of bleach products along with blood.”

    The children’s bodies were in plastic garbage bags in his SUV for part of that trip, and were found three days later on a hill near Camden, Ala., after Jones led investigators there, authorities have said.

    Arrest warrants say Jones told investigators he believed his children planned to kill him and then “chop him up and feed him to the dogs.”

    The children’s mother, Amber Jones, is suing the S.C. Department of Social Services, claiming the agency failed numerous times to safeguard the children despite many reports that Jones was a threat to their lives.

    She filed a second suit seeking damages from five Lexington County retailers she says sold Timothy Jones a synthetic marijuana product that he was allegedly under the influence of when the killings happened.

    http://www.thestate.com/news/local/c...203595494.html
    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian

    “There are some people who just do not deserve to live,”
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

    “Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence"
    - Edgar Allan Poe

  8. #28
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    SC father accused of killing his five children to claim insanity

    By John Monk
    The State

    LEXINGTON, SC - Timothy Jones will use a rarely argued defense when he goes on trial in Lexington County for the murder of five children — not guilty by reason of insanity.

    According to records in the Lexington County Courthouse, Jones' lawyers have notified 11th Circuit Solicitor Rick Hubbard that they intend to offer an insanity defense.

    Hubbard has said he will seek the death penalty against Jones in a trial set to begin Oct. 15.

    Jones, 36, is charged with murder in the August 2014 deaths of his five children — Merah, 8; Elias, 7; Nahtahn, 6; Gabriel, 2; and Elaine, 1.

    Up to now, Jones' lawyers — Boyd Young and Robert Madsen — have not commented on what defense they would offer. Neither Young nor Madsen could be reached Tuesday.

    Columbia defense attorney Jack Swerling, who has tried scores of murder cases and death-penalty cases in his 40-plus years of practicing law, said Tuesday the legal defense of not guilty by reason of insanity — called the M'Naghten rule after a precedent-setting British case — rarely is used in South Carolina. Sterling could not recall a single instance of the defense being successful in a S.C. murder case.

    S.C. juries want to hold a killer responsible for his or her crimes, and the idea of finding someone not guilty by reason of insanity is contrary to that desire, Swerling said. "People want some sort of punishment."

    A defendant found guilty by reason of insanity would be committed to the state mental facilities.

    The standard for finding a person not guilty by reason of insanity is extremely high, Swerling said.

    "It, basically, means that they (the defendant) cannot tell legal or moral right from legal or moral wrong," Swerling said. "To get to that standard, you really have to be psychotic or delusional."

    In a case involving an insanity defense, the jury likely will hear psychiatric testimony from witnesses for both the defense and prosecution, Swerling said. "It will be a battle of psychiatrists."

    The violent deaths of Jones' children sparked national media coverage. It was one of the largest mass killings in the Columbia area in decades.

    Jones killed his children on Aug. 28, after picking them up from school and day care, according to records in the case. Four of the children were strangled. Nahtahn, 6, was beaten to death, records say. All the killings took place at his home at 2155-B South Lake Drive, records say.

    Six days later, the mother of the children, Amber Jones, reported them missing and authorities began a search. At the time, the Jones were living apart because of marital problems, according to court records.

    On Sept. 6, 2014, Jones was stopped by police in Raleigh, Miss., for driving under the influence. During that stop, police found a "large amount of blood and handwritten notes with directions" on how to kill and mutilate bodies. Police also found computers.

    Three days later, Jones led police to the children's bodies in a rural area near Camden, Ala. He had transported the bodies from Lexington County to that site in plastic garbage bags, court records say.

    Jones told investigators that he thought his children planned to kill him and then "chop him up and feed him to the dogs," records say.

    A death-penalty trial has two phases — the guilt or innocence phase and, if there is a guilty verdict, a sentencing phase. In that phase, jurors decide whether the defendant gets the death penalty or life without the possibility of parole in prison.

    Evidence about Jones' claim of insanity would be presented to the jury during the guilt or innocence phase, Swerling said. If the jury finds that Jones was guilty in the traditional sense — responsible for actions — the defense still could offer evidence concerning his mental state during the punishment phase as a way of showing Jones was not fully responsible for his actions.

    Amber Jones, the children's mother, is suing the S.C. Department of Social Services, alleging that state agency failed to safeguard her children despite repeated reports that Jones posed a danger to them. She also has filed a second lawsuit seeking damages from Lexington County retailers, alleging they sold Timothy Jones a synthetic marijuana product that he was under the influence of when he killed the children.

    Solicitor Hubbard was not available for comment Tuesday.

    However, in court documents, the solicitor asks for a judge's order to require the defense to disclose "any and all information relating to the defendant's mental health."

    http://www.thestate.com/news/local/c...212119409.html
    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian

    “There are some people who just do not deserve to live,”
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

    “Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence"
    - Edgar Allan Poe

  9. #29
    Senior Member CnCP Legend CharlesMartel's Avatar
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    Death penalty trial for man charged with killing his five children delayed

    Timothy Jones was arrested in Mississippi at a drunk driving checkpoint in 2014

    By Maggie Wade
    WLBT

    JACKSON, MS (AP) - A judge has delayed until next year the death penalty trial of a South Carolina man charged with killing his five children.

    Circuit Judge Eugene Griffith Jr.'s order says both sides agreed to delay Timothy Jones' trial, scheduled to start Monday. It didn’t give a reason. Tuesday’s order says a new date will be picked once court dates for 2019 are set.

    Authorities said the 36-year-old father killed his children at his Lexington home in 2014, put their bodies in plastic trash bags and drove for nine days around the Southeast before leaving them on a hillside in Camden, Alabama.

    Jones was stopped at a drunk driving checkpoint in Mississippi, where authorities said they found blood and handwritten notes about killing and mutilating bodies.

    Jones' lawyers plan an insanity defense

    http://www.wlbt.com/2018/10/11/death...ldren-delayed/
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  10. #30
    Administrator Helen's Avatar
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    Jury selection to begin for mass murder case of 5 children, allegedly killed by dad

    By John Monk
    The Slate

    LEXINGTON, SC - Jury selection in one of South Carolina’s most horrific crimes in modern times — the 2014 mass slayings of five young Lexington County brothers and sisters — is set to begin on April 29.

    Their father, Timothy Jones Jr., 37, is charged with five counts of murder in the case. Jones has been held at the Lexington County Detention Center since his arrest in September 2014, within days of the killings.

    Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty in the case, which sparked outrage and national media coverage.

    In death penalty cases, jury selection can take weeks as the judge and opposing lawyers try to find jurors who can be unbiased and also to devote the weeks or months sitting as jurors in such cases.

    In the last three years, because of a gag order limiting publicity, there has been little news about Jones’ case.

    But this week’s unannounced secret hearing at the Lexington County courthouse, attended by prosecution and defense attorneys, as well as numerous witnesses, revealed that a lot has been going on behind the scenes. The hearing started on Monday.

    The jury selection date of April 29 was confirmed Wednesday by trial Judge Eugene “Bubba” Griffith, who is presiding over the hearing.

    When a State Media Co. reporter entered the courtroom Wednesday morning and took a seat, Griffith — apparently recognizing that a reporter had entered the room — waited a minute, then halted proceedings.

    At the time, Jones’ father, Timothy Jones Sr., was on the witness stand, being questioned by one of his defense attorneys about his son.

    Jones Sr. was testifying that his son, the accused killer, had been a smart boy “on the border between brilliance and insanity ... He was doing calculus by the time he was 10.”

    As he testified, Jones Jr., wearing a blue dress shirt, sat at the defense table, looking on.

    After the judge declared a recess, he left the courtroom. Some defense and prosecution lawyers also left the courtroom, apparently to discuss the reporter’s presence.

    When the judge and lawyers came back to the courtroom, a defense attorney made a motion to seal proceedings. The judge approved the motion and said he was excluding the press to help ensure the selection of an untainted jury.

    Closing courtrooms in criminal proceedings in extremely rare. U.S. Supreme Court decisions place a high value on the openness of American courts and say that judges have other ways to ensure untainted jurors. Those include questioning prospective jurors about what they have heard or read about a case.

    Since Monday, numerous witnesses have testified on matters on various matters that might come up at Jones’ trial. Those matters involve the admissibility at trial of the evidence and statements made by Jones when he was arrested in Mississippi in 2014, The State has learned.

    When Jones was stopped by police in Mississippi on Sept. 6, 2014, for driving under the influence, police found in Jones’ car blood and handwritten notes on how to kill and mutilate bodies, The State and other media have previously reported.

    After being arrested, Jones led police to the five children's bodies - Merah, 8; Elias, 7; Nahtahn, 6; Gabriel, 2 and Elaine, 1 — in a rural area near Camden, Ala. He had transported the bodies from Lexington County to that site in plastic garbage bags, police said.

    Evidence in the case indicates Jones killed his children on Aug. 28, 2014, after picking them up from school and day care. All the killings took place at the childrens’ home at 2155-B South Lake Drive in Red Bank in rural Lexington County, records say.

    In the courtroom this week, there have been police officers from Mississippi, as well as a representative from the Mississippi Attorney General’s office.

    Records in the Lexington County courthouse filed by Jones’ defense team say that Jones will use the defense of not guilty by reason of insanity. That defense is rarely used in South Carolina.

    Defense attorneys in court Wednesday included Boyd Young, Rob Madsen, Bill McGuire and Casey Secor of Suzerain Capital Defense, a public interest law firm. Prosecutors included Rick Hubbard, Shawn Graham and Suzanne Mayes.

    https://www.thestate.com/news/local/...227569739.html
    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian

    “There are some people who just do not deserve to live,”
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

    “Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence"
    - Edgar Allan Poe

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