LEXINGTON, S.C. — Defense testimony continues Thursday in the trial of Timothy Jones, Jr. the Lexington father accused of killing his five children in August of 2014 before dumping their bodies in Alabama. He was eventually arrested in Mississippi.
Prosecutors are pursuing the death penalty for Jones, who has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity in the case.
After hearing from several women who babysat for Jones and his stepmother on Wednesday, jurors spent the afternoon hearing from Jones' father, Tim Jones, Sr., who said he never thought his son should have had children.
Timothy Jones Sr. testified Wednesday that he was proud of his son for making it through college and getting a nice computer job, but Timothy Jones Jr. was too religious and strict and got angry too quickly.
Jones Sr. says the son he saw on trial was the man he was always scared he was going to see after his mother was sent to a mental institution for decades for schizophrenia.
Jones Sr. blamed bad DNA and called his son "a sick man."
On Tuesday, jurors heard from a doctor, who said Jones could have been affected by drug use, a DSS case worker and several of Jones' co-workers.
Dr. Joseph Lipman, a neuropharmacologist, testified that Jones’ synthetic marijuana use more likely than not exacerbated his delusional state and increased his paranoid, psychotic behavior.
The jury also heard from Sherry Henry, a retired case manager from Lexington County Department of Social Services (DSS), who had performed a risk assessment after a call from school officials at Saxe Gothe Elementary.
On Friday, jurors heard from the grandmother of the man accused of killing his five children in South Carolina. Roberta Thornsberry remembered him as being 'intelligent' growing up, but said that he became rigid in his beliefs and appeared to be bi-polar when he became an adult.
When her son, Timothy Sr., married Tim’s mother Cynthia, the young couple were living with her. Thornsberry described Jones’ mother as “nutty as a fruitcake.” Eventually, Tim’s father had Cynthia committed to a mental hospital.
Defense testimony got underway Wednesday after the prosecution rested its case Wednesday morning
In nearly seven days of prosecution testimony, the state called more than 30 witnesses in their case, including the mother of the victim's and Jones' ex-wife, Amber Kyzer. Jurors also heard from two law enforcement officers who claimed they heard confessions from Jones.
An 18-person jury, made up of 10 women and 8 men will decide Timothy Ray Jones Jr.'s guilt or innocence in the murder of his five children: Elaine, 1; Gabriel Jones, 2; Nahtahn Jones, 6; Elias Jones, 7; and Mera Gracie Jones, 8.