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LEXINGTON, S.C. (AP) — Prosecutors announced Thursday that they seeking the death penalty against a South Carolina father accused of strangling four of his children and beating a fifth to death last year at their home.
Solicitor Donnie Myers served notice of his decision during a hearing in Lexington on Wednesday for Timothy Ray Jones Jr., according to reports by local news outlets.
Jones faces five counts of murder. Authorities say that the 33-year-old father killed his five children at their Lexington County home in late August 2014, and then drove around with their bodies in trash bags in his SUV for nine days before dumping them in a rural Alabama field.
Jones was arrested in Mississippi after a deputy said he smelled the stench of death coming from the SUV at a traffic checkpoint. According to indictments, Jones beat one child to death and strangled the other four.
Circuit Judge Knox McMahon also ordered that Jones receive a psychiatric evaluation, which was requested by prosecutors. According to an arrest warrant released earlier in the case, he said he feared his children, ages 1 to 8, were going to kill him, chop him up and feed him to dogs.
Few details are known about what happened. The court has imposed a gag order on all parties involved with the case to prevent the release of information before a trial.
Information from: The State, http://www.thestate.com
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