Columbia: The mother of five children killed by their father surprised a courtroom in South Carolina on Tuesday by asking the jury to spare her ex-husband's life.
"He has shown no mercy to my children in any way. But my children loved him, and when I speak on behalf of my children and not myself, that's what I have to say," Amber Kyzer said in the witness stand.
Under the cross-examination of public prosecutor Suzanne Mayes, she added: "I will respect what the jury decides." Kyzer was summoned by the defense.
A jury condemned Timothy Jones Jr. of five murders last week for the murders at his home in Lexington in August 2014. The same jurors decide whether he will receive the death penalty or life without any conditional release to prison.
Kyzer said as she prays for Jones and personally condemns the death penalty, there have been many moments to follow the trial when she wanted to fry him & # 39 ;.
"I have heard what my children have been through and what they have endured, and as a mother I could personally tear his face off, that is the mother in me." That's the mom bear, "Kyzer said.
Kyzer first testified last month about a short phone call just before her children were killed and dissolved in sizzling sobs when she read a letter she had written to her children and apologized for not being there for them after the couple were divorced.
On Tuesday she cried again when she reminded her children. But she also sounded adamant and aggravated when she described again how Jones hit her, spit in her face for their young daughter and threatened to cut her off and give her to pigs during their marriage.
And Kyzer, dressed in a black dress similar to the one she was wearing when she first testified, responded to testimonials about her during the four weeks of testimony, including that she rarely came to visit her children and shouldn't have let her live with Jones .
Kyzer said that Jones was a good father during their marriage and had a job of $ 80,000 a year as a computer engineer. She said that although Jones deliberately made it difficult for her to visit her children by not accommodating her work schedule, she missed only two scheduled visitations and earned her high school diploma and a job because she wanted to show that she could support her children.
Kyzer testified that she did not want Jones & family to deal with the pain of losing a son because she had lost three of her in 2014. She said she still had the shirt that her 6-year-old son was wearing the last time he saw her and hasn't washed it in nearly five years because it still smells of him. "If they died thinking I didn't want them or that I didn't love them, it would kill me," Kyzer said.
The testimony of Kyzer came after defense lawyers, a social worker named to testify about Jones' chaotic upbringing. Deborah Gray said that Jones's grandmother was raped by her stepfather and gave birth to Jones's father at the age of 12. Jones' mother had schizophrenia and went to a psychiatric institution when Jones was 3 years old. She spent decades there, Gray said.
Her psychiatric records showed her doctors were harassing her father and locked her up in a closet with a dead chicken that sprinkled blood on her as part of a voodoo ritual, Gray said.
The social worker detailed three generations of rapes, molestation by family members, gunshots, stabbing, drug deals, voodoo rituals, prostitution, frequent screaming fights and curses in children and how Jones & Mother immersed him in ice water baths and gave him laxatives to try to make him behave.
Jones lawyers are trying to show that he was struggling with an undiagnosed mental illness and cracked after his marriage failed.
Jones said in a confession that he felt his 6-year-old Nahtahn was trying to attack him by working with his ex-wife, and he practiced the boy until he collapsed and died after breaking a power outlet.
A few hours later, Jones said he decided to kill the other children, 8-year-old Merah and 7-year-old Elias squirmed with his hands and used a belt to choke 2-year-old Gabriel and 1-year-old Abigail. because his hands were too big.
Prosecutors said that Jones was a bad, selfish father who killed Nahtahn in anger and then the rest of his children because he didn't want his ex-wife to have them.
Both parties have blamed the use of alcohol and drugs for the murders. Prosecutors said that Jones used synthetic marijuana instead of taking care of his children. Defense lawyers said that Jones used drugs to treat his undiagnosed schizophrenia, but it made the mental condition worse.
Jones only did what he saw his father and grandmother and their families do all their lives — medicine to deal with what seemed like an endless barrage of sadness and anger, Gray testified.
"They have been through a lot, but there is a lot of love and care between these people," Gray said. The trial is being streamed from the Lexington County courthouse.
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