FILE - In this Sept. 11, 2014 file photo, Timothy Ray Jones Jr., is escorted by lawmen out of the Smith County Jail in Raleigh, Miss. A jury has been selected and opening statement should begin soon in the death penalty trial of Jones, a South Carolina father charged with killing his five children. The 12-member jury with six alternates was selected Monday, May 13, 2019 at the Lexington County Courthouse. Opening statements are expected Tuesday afternoon. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)

Jury to decide: Selfish dad kills 5 in rage or mentally ill?

May 14, 2019 - 2:15 pm

LEXINGTON, S.C. (AP) — Prosecutors say a father charged with killing his five children in their South Carolina home exploded in a selfish rage after his son ruined an electrical outlet.

But in the defense's opening statement Tuesday, Timothy Jones Jr.'s lawyer says he was insane — broken by his ex-wife's infidelity, the struggle of raising five young children on his own and a feeling he was failing God.

Jones is charged with five counts of murder and is facing a death penalty trial. Prosecutors said he killed his children, ages 8, 7, 6, 2 and 1, in their Lexington home in August 2014, strangling four of them after killing his middle child in a rage.

Jones' lawyers plan to argue the 37-year-old computer engineer had schizophrenia and did not know right from wrong.

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