The Latest: Mom OK with jury decision on ex-husband’s fate

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The Latest on a death penalty trial for a South Carolina father (all times local):

3:20 p.m.

A mother whose ex-husband killed their five children says she wouldn’t choose to sentence him to death, but she will respect the jury’s decision.

Defense lawyers called Amber Kyzer to testify Tuesday. She said she thinks Timothy Jones Jr. should not be executed for killing their five children in a Lexington home in August 2014.

But on cross-examination by prosecutors, Kyzer said while she strongly opposes the death penalty, she thinks jurors should make up their own minds.

Under questioning, Kyzer also described how Jones hit her, spit in her face in front of their young daughter and threatened to chop her up and feed her to pigs during their marriage.

The same jury convicted Jones of five counts of murder last week. They must decide if he faces the death penalty or life without parole.


2:50 p.m.

A mother whose ex-husband killed their five children has told a South Carolina jury that he should not die for the murders.

Amber Kyzer says the mother in her wants Timothy Jones Jr. to feel all the pain and fear she and her children felt when they were killed in August 2014.

But Kyzer said that speaking on behalf of her kids, she knows they loved their father and there shouldn’t be more pain by executing him.

Kyzer testified Tuesday for the defense in the penalty phase of Jones’ trial. The same jury that convicted Jones of five counts of murder last week is deciding whether he gets the death penalty or life without parole.

The mother dissolved into sobs when she testified last month about writing her kids a letter apologizing for not being there for them after the couple divorced.


1:05 p.m.

Lawyers are detailing the chaotic upbringing of a South Carolina father who killed his five children as they ask a jury to spare his life.

Social worker Deborah Grey testified Tuesday that Timothy Jones Jr.’s father was born after his then-12-year-old grandmother was raped by her stepfather.

Grey testified she used interviews and records to determine Jones’ mother reported she was molested by her father who was also into voodoo and locked his daughter in a closet with a dead chicken dripping blood on her as part of a ritual.

Prosecutors objected to much of Grey’s testimony.

Jones was convicted last week of killing his five children in their Lexington home in 2014. The same jury must decide if he gets the death penalty or life in prison without parole.

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