The Latest: Father won't testify in death penalty trial

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The Latest on a death penalty trial for a South Carolina father (all times local):

1:50 p.m.

The South Carolina father convicted of killing his five children won't testify on his behalf or make a statement to a jury deciding whether he gets the death penalty.

Timothy Jones Jr. declined to testify in his defense before he was found guilty last week and again Wednesday at the end of his sentencing phase.

South Carolina law would have allowed Jones to make a brief statement to the jury during Thursday's closing arguments, but Jones told Circuit Judge Eugene Griffith he wouldn't do that either.

The jury is expected to begin deliberating Jones' sentence on Thursday. They must vote unanimously for the death penalty for the 37-year-old or he will be sentenced to life without parole.

Jones killed his five children, ages 1 to 8, in their Lexington home in August 2014.


1:15 p.m.

Defense lawyers for a South Carolina father convicted of killing his five children have concluded their efforts to spare him a death sentence by calling several relatives to ask for mercy.

Two of Timothy Jones Jr.'s half brothers and his half sister testified Wednesday, along with his stepmother. They remembered good times growing up with Jones and summers with his children.

All four asked the jury to not sentence Jones to death. The same jury convicted Jones last week of five counts of murder for killing the children, ages 1 to 8, in their Lexington home in 2014. If they can't unanimously agree on death, Jones will be sentenced to life without parole.

The mother of the five children told jurors Tuesday she is against the death penalty.

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