COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The Latest on a death penalty trial for a South Carolina father (all times local):
A jury says a South Carolina father should be executed for killing his five children.
The jury unanimously agreed on the death penalty Thursday for 37-year-old Timothy Jones Jr. in the slayings of his children, ages 1 to 8, in their Lexington home in August 2014.
Jones admitted he exercised 6-year-old Nahtahn until he collapsed and died, then several hours later decided to kill the other four children.
Jones confessed he strangled 8-year-old Merah and 7-year-old Elias with his hands and used a belt to choke 2-year-old Gabriel and 1-year-old Abigail because his hands were too big.
Jones drove around with the bodies for nine days before dumping them in five trash bags in Alabama.
Although Jones is heading to death row, South Carolina hasn't executed an inmate since 2011.
A jury in South Carolina has started deliberating whether a father gets the death penalty or life in prison for killing his five children
Jurors started discussing their decision around 1 p.m. Thursday.
If they don't vote unanimously for the death penalty against Timothy Jones Jr., he will be sentenced to life in prison without parole.
The same Lexington County jury convicted Jones last week of five counts of murder in the deaths of his children, ages 1 to 8, in their Lexington home in August 2014.
Prosecutors said death was the only just choice because life in prison would be like sending Jones to his room to think about things.
Jones' lawyers asked for mercy because his family has already seen so much death and wants to still love Jones even through prison bars.
If jurors are unsure whether a South Carolina father should get the death penalty for killing his five children, a prosecutor says they should just consider the five garbage bags where he left their bodies in rural Alabama.
Solicitor Rick Hubbard told a jury Thursday that 37-year-old Timothy Jones Jr. deserves to be executed instead of getting life in prison, which Hubbard said would be like sending "Timmy to his room."
Defense attorney Casey Secor asked jurors to punish Jones severely with life without parole, but show compassion for his family so they don't endure any more death.
The same Lexington County jury that convicted Jones of five counts of murder for killing his children , ages 1 to 8, in August 2014 will deliberate his sentence.