Tim Jones, Jr., on suicide watch, waives first appearance in court

Published: Sep. 17, 2014 at 6:25 PM EDT
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Tim Jones, Jr. (Lexington County Detention Center)
Tim Jones, Jr. (Lexington County Detention Center)

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Tim Jones, Jr., the man accused by Lexington County investigators of brutally murdering his five children, waived his right to a hearing Friday morning.

In a brief filed by his attorneys, Jones said he had been advised by his attorneys to not appear because the hearing was "not authorized by either state or federal law, is entirely unnecessary, and will undermine my ability to receive a fair trial."

"Since this hearing is for the sole purpose of parading me in front of the media, it is my wish to waive my appearance," said the brief.

Jones will instead appear in court on Nov. 13. He is currently on suicide watch and being kept away from other inmates.

Jones returned to Lexington Thursday, to be booked on his five murder charges.

Custody of Jones was transferred over to South Carolina officials Thursday morning after he was held by Smith County, MS officials for several days.

Members of the Lexington County Crime Scene Unit were also in Smith County to collect evidence against Jones.

"We're proud our parts are over," said Smith County Sheriff Charlie Crumpton. "I do feel sorry for South Carolina for what they're fixing to go through. It will be a lengthy process. Nothing good will come out of it either way. It's a sad outcome for a family. A sad ending for a family.  Sad ending for law enforcement."

Jones, 32, signed a waiver of extradition on Wednesday.

Jones will be transferred from the county detention center to a South Carolina Department of Corrections prison, where Jones will be housed while he awaits trial, McCarty said.

The 11th Judicial Circuit Solicitor's Office will schedule a bond hearing for Jones in general sessions court, McCarty said. Under South Carolina law, a circuit court judge must conduct a bond hearing for Jones in general sessions court because murder carries a punishment of life in prison.

Arrest warrants allege that Jones willfully and maliciously killed his five children by violent means at his Lexington home, said Lexington County Sheriff Lewis McCarty said.

Arrest warrants further allege that Jones removed the bodies of his five children from his Lexington home, placed the bodies in his black 2006 Cadillac Escalade sport-utility vehicle and traveled to Alabama, where Jones placed the bodies in individual plastic trash bags and discarded the trash bags in woods, McCarty said.

Sheriff's department detectives recovered the five childrens' remains off Highway 10 near Camden, Ala., McCarty said.

Those arrest warrants go on to say evidence recovered from Jones' car confirm he killed his children and that he was the last person to see them alive.

The five children lived with Jones, who was the children's primary legal custodian.

Detectives are continuing to investigate the cause of death for Jones' five children as well as the circumstances of the children's deaths, McCarty said.

Detectives have reason to believe that Jones killed his five children about one week before the children's mother, who is divorced from Jones, reported Jones and their five children missing to the Sheriff's Department.
Jones' ex-wife reported Jones and their five children missing to the Sheriff's Department at 6:11 p.m. on Wednesday, September 3, McCarty said. Deputies entered the five children and Jones as missing persons on the National Crime Information Center computer database.
Lexington County Coroner Earl Wells made arrangements on Tuesday for a body removal service in South Carolina to transport the five plastic trash bags that were recovered in Alabama to Lexington County in order to conduct autopsies on the remains and positively identify the remains.

Wells ordered autopsies on the remains to be conducted on Thursday.

Wells said a forensic pathologist who performed autopsies on five sets of human remains positively identified Abigail Elizabeth Jones, 1; Gabriel Jones, 2; Nahtahn Jones, 6; Elias Jones, 7; and Merah Gracie Jones, 8, as the deceased persons.

Wells determined that each child's death was a homicide.

The cause of death for each of the five children remains under investigation by the Coroner's Office, Lexington County Sheriff's Department, South Carolina Law Enforcement Division and Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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