The ex-wife of the South Carolina man convicted of killing their five children has asked the courts to spare his life as he faces the death penalty for the grisly 2014 slayings.
Under questioning by defense attorney Boyd Young, Amber Kyzer told the court that her five slain children loved their father, Timothy Jones Jr., 37. However, she recalled thinking “fry him” while learning what her ex-husband did to their children and how he didn’t show them “mercy by any means,” according to The State.
“I personally, myself, can’t bring myself to want anybody to die,” she said.
“Though I hear what my kids went through and what they endured—though as a mother, if I could personally rip his face off, I would—that’s the mom in me, the momma bear in me, wanting him to feel everything they felt.”
Kyzer, who was married to Jones Jr. for eight years before their divorce in 2012, went on to say that she didn’t support the death penalty, even for her husband, but would ultimately respect the jury’s decision.
Earlier this month, 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 children’s 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.
The mother of five directed some of Tuesday’s testimony to Jones Jr., telling him that nothing justified what he did to their children or her. WIS reported that the convicted killer was spotted crying during his ex-wife’s testimony.
“I hope for mercy for you. I pray for you often,” she harshly told Jones Jr. “I say that from the depth of my soul. There’s been so much loss.”
Kyzer testified early on in the criminal trial and hasn’t come to court until Tuesday. Late last month, the slain children’s mother was taken out of court after having a breakdown while reading a letter her late daughter had written to her.
Along with Kyzer, Jones Jr.’s grandmother and father have asked the court to spare his life. The State noted that Jones Jr. will be sentenced to life without parole if one juror declines to sentence him to death.
WIS reported that the defense is expected to call more character witnesses to the stand on Wednesday.
[Featured image: Amber Kyzer/Tracy Glantz/The State via AP, Pool]