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The Latest: Defense focuses on defendant’s odd confession

May 22, 2019
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Timothy Jones Jr., center, charged with killing his five children, speaks with his attorneys, Boyd Young, left, and Casey Secor during his trial in Lexington, S.C., Wednesday, May 22, 2019. Lawyers defending Jones turned Wednesday to brain science in an effort to spare their client from the death penalty. (Tracy Glantz/The State via AP, Pool)
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Timothy Jones Jr., center, charged with killing his five children, speaks with his attorneys, Boyd Young, left, and Casey Secor during his trial in Lexington, S.C., Wednesday, May 22, 2019. Lawyers defending Jones turned Wednesday to brain science in an effort to spare their client from the death penalty. (Tracy Glantz/The State via AP, Pool)

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

4:50 p.m.

Attorneys for a South Carolina father accused of killing his five children are carefully going over his full confession in court as they seek to prove their insanity case.

Timothy Jones Jr.’s lawyers asked Lexington County Sheriff’s Sgt. Anthony Creech on Wednesday to talk about the moments in the confession when Jones said odd things that could indicate mental instability or a tenuous grip on reality.

Such comments included that he feared his children were trying to kill him and that he heard voices in his head.

Creech testified that Jones also said he thought one of the five children was going to grow up to do something bad and he prevented that by killing all of them.

The defense team plans to ask jurors to find Jones not guilty by reason of insanity in the 2014 deaths of his five children in their Lexington home.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty. They rested their case earlier Wednesday. The children killed ranged in age from 1 to 8.

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1 p.m.

The prosecution has rested its case in the death penalty trial of a South Carolina father charged with killing his five young children.

Timothy Jones Jr.’s lawyers then started their case Wednesday morning to show their client is not guilty by reason of insanity.

Their first witness was a doctor who reviewed images of Jones’ brain and found a substantial injury from a car crash in his teens.

The scientific testimony was in stark contrast to a week of prosecution witnesses who gave detailed testimony about strangulation marks and the decomposing bodies of the children, who ranged in age from 1 to 8. The children were killed in their Lexington home in August 2014.

Prosecutors called Jones’ ex-wife, who broke into sobs while testifying about her children.

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