South Carolina father won’t testify in death penalty trial

South Carolina News

Defense attorney Casey Secor talks with Tim Jones during trial in Lexington, S.C. Timothy Jones, Jr., is accused of killing his five children in 2014. Jones, who faces the death penalty, has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. (Tracy Glantz/The State via AP, Pool)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – The South Carolina father convicted of killing his five children won’t testify on his behalf or make a statement to a jury deciding whether he gets the death penalty.

Timothy Jones Jr. declined to testify in his defense before he was found guilty last week and again Wednesday at the end of his sentencing phase.

South Carolina law would have allowed Jones to make a brief statement to the jury during Thursday’s closing arguments, but Jones told Circuit Judge Eugene Griffith he wouldn’t do that either.

The jury is expected to begin deliberating Jones’ sentence on Thursday. They must vote unanimously for the death penalty for the 37-year-old or he will be sentenced to life without parole.

Jones killed his five children, ages 1 to 8, in their Lexington home in August 2014.

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