A Lexington County man accused of murdering his five children and eventually dumping their bodies in Alabama has waived his right to a bond hearing, saying in a statement that he does not want to be “parading” in front of the media.
Tim Jones, Jr., 32, made the comment in a brief filed by his attorneys before a scheduled bond hearing Friday morning.
“Since this hearing is for the sole purpose of parading me in front of the media, it is my wish to waive my appearance,” the brief stated.
Jones will stay in a state prison until his next court appearance in November. Lexington County Lewis McCarty had said he believed Jones’ life would be at risk if he was kept in the Lexington County Detention Center.
“I would be concerned about his safety in the Lexington County jail,” McCarty told reporters earlier this week. Jones has been placed on suicide watch.
His attorney Aimee Zmroczek said her client knows he is being “portrayed as a monster,” in the public eye.
“He’s just a man and he’s trying to deal with the situation,” Zmroczek told reporters after the hearing.
Jones was formally charged with the murder of his five children after his extradition back to South Carolina on Thursday. The arrest warrants claim Jones willfully and maliciously killed his five children by “violent means” at his Lexington home. The warrants did not give any more specifics as to the cause of death.
Jones had been granted legal custody of his children following a 2012 separation and later divorce. Department of Social Services caseworkers were called to the family’s Lexington County home several times between 2011 and 2014. The responding caseworkers said they never observed conclusive evidence the children were abused, but noted a potentially dangerous amount of construction tools strewn around the home.
He was detained on a suspicion of driving while impaired by deputies in Mississippi last week. Smith County (MS) sheriff’s deputies said they found synthetic drugs in the car, but became suspicious when they also noticed blood, cleaning supplies, and a strong odor. Smith County Sheriff Chuck Crumpton said Jones eventually confessed to killing the children and told law enforcement where he had left their bodies off an Alabama highway.
The Lexington County Coroner’s Office on Thursday identified the children as Abigail Jones, 1; Gabriel Jones, 2; Nahtahn Jones, 6; Elias Jones, 7; and Merah Gracie Jones, 8.