Mass murder defendant feared own children
Prosecutors rested their case in a Red Bank father’s death penalty trial.
Timothy Ray Jones Jr. is facing the death penalty if found guilty of murdering his 5 children — Merah, 8; Elias, 7; Nahtahn, 6; Gabriel, 2 and Elaine, 1 — in their Red Bank home on Aug. 28, 2014.
Testimony has been going on for just over a week at the Marc H. Westbrook Judicial Center in downtown Lexington.
The state rested Wednesday morning just after 9:30.
Wednesday’s most graphic and controversial testimony came late Wednesday when the defense called lead investigator Adam Creech with the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department.
The defense wanted to rehash Jones’ confession to killing his children and dumping their bodies in black plastic trash bags in rural Alabama.
Creech recounted Jones said he was afraid of 6-year-old Nahtahn and stated the boy said, “when I grow up I’m going to kill you.”
Elias, 7, “said he was going to grow up and cut people up and feed them to the dogs.”
Creech asked Jones, “how could kids” hurt you?
“He said they were very intelligent and he believed they were conspiring to kill him.”
Later Creech said, “I threw out self defense as an offer.
“He cocked his head and said ‘but they are just kids.’
“That’s when I discounted he was in fear of them.”
A new recording heard by the jury Wednesday was played where Creech interviewed Jones in the back of a Smith County, MS, sheriff’s car after discovering the bodies in Alabama and returning to Mississippi.
In an exchange with Creech, Jones said he didn’t mutilate the children’s bodies because “I couldn’t bring myself to do that... Lord, God forgive me.”
Jones is heard crying in the audio and was also seen crying in court.
“I was merciless when I threw them out,” Jones said about dumping his children’s bodies in the back of his SUV. “I just wanted to get out of there.”
Jones admitted again trying to cutting up the children’s bodies at the dump site.
“I sawed on a leg,” he said on the new audio.
Jones previously told investigators he was angry with Nahtahn the night of the killings for blowing out electrical sockets at their home.
In the new audio Jones said he thought Nahtahn may have been trying to figure out a way to kill Jones with electricity.
“He was premeditating toward me.”
Jones cut into Nahtahn’s leg with a saw but did not finish the process.
After the killings, Jones said he heard voices telling him to dispose of the bodies including cutting them up and feeding them to the hogs and burning them.
“Where do these voices come from?” he asked.
“The thought there are people out there that can take another human life without remorse scares me,” Jones said.
On cross-examination, 11th Circuit Solicitor Rick Hubbard asked Creech what Jones looked up on his YouTube search after finding Nahtahn dead.
Creech testified he looked up a “male on male rape scene in the shower” of the prison movie “American History X” before Jones strangled his other 4 children to death.
Creech’s testimony is to continue in court Thursday at 9 am.
Wednesday, neuro-radiologist Dr. Travis Snyder testified Jones had a significant traumatic brain injury from a car crash at age 15.
An image shown to the jury showed a “depressed skull fracture.”
Jones also continues to have hemorrhages due to the injury, Snyder said.
The injury “could result in schizophrenia,” Snyder said, but that is hard to diagnose in an MRI. It requires a clinician to make a diagnosis.
Traumatic brain injuries can also lead to lower IQ, motor function problems, memory loss, personality changes and risky behavior, Snyder said.
“I would be very surprised if none of those existed” with Jones, he said.