One of the Midlands’ largest mass killings in decades rocked Lexington County in the summer of 2014.
Timothy Ray Jones Jr., 34, is charged with five counts of murder in the deaths of his children – Merah, 8, Elias, 7, Nahtahn, 6, Gabriel, 2, and Elaine, 1.
Authorities accuse Jones of killing the children at the family’s mobile home in Red Bank on Aug. 28, 2014, after picking them up from school and day care. Indictments allege he beat one to death and strangled the other four.
Jones’ former wife, Amber, reported the children missing on Sept. 3, 2014.
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Jones was stopped three days later at a traffic safety checkpoint in Raleigh, Miss., near where his parents live, on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
His vehicle contained “a large amount of blood and handwritten notes with directions to kill and mutilate bodies,” according to an arrest warrant. It added that a search of the vehicle revealed “a significant amount of bleach products (aroma) along with blood.” Traces of synthetic marijuana also were found in the vehicle, police said.
The children’s bodies on Sept. 9 in shallow graves in Alabama, after investigators say Jones led them there. Jones told investigators he believed his children planned to kill him and then “chop him up and feed him to the dogs,” according to an arrest warrant revealed in court.
Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty. Much is still unclear about Jones or what led to the killings. The court has imposed a gag order on all involved with the trial.