Trial for SC man accused of 2014 murder of 5 children underway; Prosecution, defense enter opening statements

Timothy Ray Jones, Jr. in custody in Mississippi (Source: Smith County Jail)
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LEXINGTON COUNTY, SC (WIS) - Opening statements were delivered for the Lexington County, SC man accused of murdering his five children in 2014.

During the opening statements, prosecution wrapped up opening statements in 15 minutes, vowing to prove Tim Jones Jr. killed his five children with malice. Deputy Solicitor Graham says “he knew what he did was wrong--that’s why he ran.”

Jones’ defense team tells jury he is schizophrenic, but had not been diagnosed at the time of the alleged crime. Attorney says Jones’ mom has been institutionalized for 20 years with diagnosed schizophrenia.

His defense made a motion for a mistrial, accusing Deputy Solicitor Graham of getting choked up while giving the state’s opening statements. That motion is denied.

Jones’s parents were in the courtroom seated behind their son.

Witnesses will begin taking the stand on Wednesday morning; the trial is expected to last several weeks.

A jury of 10 women and 8 men will decide whether Jones is guilty or innocent. Prosecutors say Jones killed his children at his home in Red Bank in 2014 before dumping their bodies in Alabama.

Jones is pleading not guilty by reason of insanity. At this point, jurors have not been sequestered.

Because the state is seeking the death penalty, if the jury finds Jones guilty, they will then be responsible for determining his punishment.

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During jury selection, there were no signs of family members or friends of the Jones family present in the courtroom. Jones has been present daily in the courtroom, speaking his attorneys and listening to the questioning of the potential jurors.

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