The mother of five young children who were killed by their father, has stunned a courtroom by asking the jury to spare her ex-husband’s life.
A South Carolina jury convicted Timothy Jones Jr of five counts of murder last week for the killings in his Lexington home in August, 2014.
The same jurors are now deciding if he will get the death penalty, or life in prison without parole.
“He did not show my children any mercy by any means. But my kids loved him and if I’m speaking on behalf of my kids and not myself, that’s what I have to say,” Amber Kyzer said on the witness stand Tuesday.
Under cross-examination by prosecutor Suzanne Mayes she added, “I’ll respect whatever the jury decides.”
Ms Kyzer said while she prays for Jones and personally opposes the death penalty, there have been many moments watching the trial when she wanted to “fry him.”
On Tuesday, the mother wept when recalling her children. But she also sounded adamant and aggravated as she described how Jones hit her, spit in her face in front of their young daughter and threatened to chop her up and feed her to pigs during their marriage.
Despite this, Ms Kyzer said Jones was a good father throughout their marriage.
Alcohol and drugs blamed for the killings
Ms Kyzer testified she didn’t want Jones’ family to deal with the pain of losing a son because she lost three of her own in 2014. This came after defence lawyers called a social worker to testify about Jones’ chaotic upbringing.
Deborah Grey said Jones’ mother had schizophrenia and went into a mental institution when Jones was 3, where she spent decades.
The social worker detailed three generations of rapes, molestation by family members, gunshots, stabbings, drug deals, voodoo rituals, prostitution, frequent screaming fights and cursing at children.
Jones’ lawyers are trying to show he struggled from undiagnosed mental illness and cracked after his marriage failed.
Prosecutors said Jones was an evil, selfish father who killed son Nahtahn in a rage and then the rest of his children because he didn’t want his ex-wife to have them.
Both sides have blamed alcohol and drug use for the killings.
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