Though he was a key defense witness during the trial of Tim Jones, pastor Micah Sutton painted an unflattering portrait of the man on trial for the murder of his five children.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Travis Pressley, a guard at a South Carolina prison, told jurors earlier this week that Jones confessed to strangling one of his young sons to death and murdering his older sister when she caught him in the act. In total, he is charged with strangling four of his own children and killing a fifth in an as-yet unconfirmed manner.
Sutton’s subsequent testimony went back to before 2004, when he served as the officiant at Jones’ wedding to Amber, his wife until their divorce in 2013, as reported by the Greenville News. The suspected child killer joined the church the year the Illinois church the previous year after a stint behind bars for a variety of crimes.
Jones left the church after a series of events in which the small congregation was upset by his behavior, the pastor said.
“I used to joke with my wife that we had a church of 25 and Tim was the only one who could make every one of them upset,” Sutton said.
Describing him as “highly intelligent” with a “prodigious memory” he dedicated to memorizing Bible passages, the pastor noted that Jones could not appropriately apply the principles in his own life.
“His capacity to help others was limited.” Sutton told the jury.
Among their troubling interactions, he said Jones told him on multiple occasions that it “seems like there’s a monster” inside him “trying to get out.”
A particularly divisive incident involved Jones telling Sutton that he believed the pastor’s wife “was trying to seduce him,” Sutton said.
The defense also called a therapist who treated Jones more than a dozen times beginning in the months leading up to his divorce.
April Hames described a doting father, saying she had worked with him “at that time to make him the best man and husband that he could be, given the circumstances.”
She did mention one notable interaction, saying he asked her to refrain from wearing high heels without further explaining his unusual request.
[Featured image: Lexington County Sheriff’s Department]