Timothy Jones Jr., 37, was sentenced to death in South Carolina on Thursday
Tim Jones showed no emotion as the jury delivered the unanimous verdict after less than two hours of deliberation
The same jury convicted Jones of five counts of murder last week in the deaths of his children, ages 1 to 8, in their Lexington home in August 2014
While prosecutors pushed for the death penalty, several members of the defendant’s family – including the mother of the children – had urged the jury to spare his life
Jones admitted to killing his six-year-old son Nahtahn by exercising the boy to death as a punishment after he refused to admit he broke an electrical outlet
Several hours later, Jones said he decided to strangle his other children: Merah, 8, Elias, 7, Gabriel, 2, and 1-year-old Abigail
After the slaughter Jones then drove around with their bodies in his truck for nine days before dumping them in the woods in Alabama
Timothy Jones Jr., 37, showed no emotion as the jury delivered the unanimous verdict after less than two hours of deliberation on Thursday. Jurors could have also sentenced him to life without parole.
The same Lexington County jury convicted Jones of five counts of murder last week in the deaths of his children, ages 1 to 8, in their Lexington home in August 2014.
Prosecutors had been pushing for the death penalty but multiple members of Jones’ family – including the mother of the five children – had this week urged the jury to spare his life.
Jones’ father hung his head in his hands as the verdict was read and other family members appeared to cry.
The horrific details of the five killings played out over four weeks of testimony during the divorced former software engineer’s trial.
Prosecutors described him as an evil, selfish father while defense attorneys tried to argue that an undiagnosed mental illness drove him to kill his own children.
Jones’ lawyers had tried to show that his problems started when he became a single father-of-five after his marriage failed.
His wife Amber Kyzer left him for a teenager who lived next door after she tired of Jones using religion to control what she wore and when she could leave their home.
Her affair with the neighbor occurred around the time she was pregnant with their fifth child. Jones turned to drugs to medicate himself, which made his schizophrenia worse, according to his attorneys.
Let the punishment fit the crime. He is a mass murderer. Prosecutor Rick Hubbard
Prosecutors began their closing argument on Thursday by asking if the jurors had ever heard of a crime more horrendous and they continued to push for the death penalty. ‘
‘Let the punishment fit the crime,’ prosecutor Rick Hubbard told jurors. ‘He is a mass murderer.’
The prosecutor said Jones had been selfish all his life, trying to break up his father’s second marriage because he wasn’t getting enough attention and controlling his wife’s every decision.
When she left him, Jones couldn’t stand that his control was over. With custody of his children, he mistreated any of them who showed any intention of wanting to be with their mother instead of him, prosecutors said.
Jones first killed 6-year-old son Nahtahn in a ‘white hot rage’ after the boy confessed on the phone to his mother – but not to his father – to breaking an electrical outlet.
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.
Then he made a decision to kill them all.
Jones strangled his eight-year-old daughter Merah in 2014 despite her pleading ‘Daddy I love you’ in a murderous rampage which saw him kill all five of his kids
Jurors last week rejected their arguments that Jones was not guilty by reason of insanity or guilty but mentally ill.
During the trial, his lawyers had called social worker Deborah Grey to testify about Jones’ chaotic upbringing, from how his father was born to a 12-year-old rape victim to how his mother said she was locked in a closet during a voodoo ritual.
She detailed three generations of rapes, molestation by family members, gunshots, stabbings, drug deals, voodoo rituals, prostitution, frequent screaming fights and cursing at children and how Jones’ mother dipped him in ice water baths and gave him laxatives to try to make him behave.
Defense lawyers displayed a chart with the Jones family tree that detailed a number of psychological issues that his relatives have dealt with over different generations.
Grey started with Jones’ grandmother, who was raped by her stepfather and gave birth at age 12 to Jones’ father.
The chaos extended to Jones’ parents. His mother had schizophrenia and went into a mental institution when Jones was 3. She spent decades there.