A South Carolina man convicted this week of killing his five children reportedly did so after his 6-year-old son expressed that he wanted to be with his mother.
According to WLTX, Timothy Jones Jr. made the admission in a recorded jail conversation which transpired days after the September 2014 murders. In it, he suggested that his son missing his mother pushed him to kill the 6-year-old and his four siblings.
“I’m feeling like I’m insane. Nathahn was trying to get to his mom. He was just like me and I didn’t want him to see him go through the pain,” he says in the audio.
“I blame Amber on this one… its not him (Nahtahn), its her… she should know better, she caused the whole thing, it was her fault… if she would’ve been home it wouldn’t have happened.”
The audio was presented in court Thursday as jurors decide the convicted murderer’s fate. The news station reported that the 2014 recorded admission came after his father, Timothy Jones Jr., mentioned his ex-wife’s (Amber Jones Kyzer) new boyfriend and daughter.
On Tuesday, a 12-person jury convicted Jones Jr. of the quintuple slaying, dismissing claims that he was mentally ill at the time of the 2014 murders and couldn’t tell right from wrong.
Jones Jr. was found to have strangled his four children Elias, 7, Merah, 8, Gabriel, 2, and Elaine, 1, with a belt and his bare hands. It remains unclear how his fifth child, Nahtahn, 6, was killed, though Jones Jr. claimed his death occurred following excessive exercise. All five bodies were dumped in rural Alabama.
The Post and Courier reported that Jones Jr. was arrested in Mississippi days after the murders and led authorities to his kids’ decomposing bodies. At one point, he told authorities that he strangled the youngest two children with a belt because his hands were too big for their necks.
At the sentencing phase, jurors now must decide whether he’s deserving of death or life in prison without parole.
Thursday’s proceedings reportedly came to a halt after a juror sobbed while viewing photos of a trash bag containing the five slain children. She and the other 11 jurors were led out the courtroom until she collected herself, according to The State.
The news outlet reported that Jones Jr. was spotted crying as prosecutors presented two cellphone videos to the cour. The first video, which Jones Jr. had sent to his estranged wife, showed two of their children crying while Merah tearfully cried, “Please, mommy…Please, mommy.” The second video showed Elias begging his mother to come home.
WOLO reported that the prosecution rested their case on Friday. The defense called several witnesses to the stand before court adjourned for the day. They’re expected to call additional witnesses on Monday.
[Featured image: Lexington County Sheriff’s Department]