LEXINGTON, S.C. — The jury pool is set in the death penalty trial of Timothy Jones Jr., the Lexington County man accused of killing all five his children.
Circuit Judge Eugene "Bubba" Griffith had hoped to seat a pool of 50 qualified prospective jurors that would be winnowed down to a trial jury of 12 plus up to 6 alternate jurors.
During the week-long process, all prospective jurors were asked by the judge if they could handle hearing evidence in the case that has been described as "difficult, graphic, and unpleasant" involving children and be fair to both sides.
Jones has pled guilty by reason of insanity of the murders of his five children: Mirah, 8; Elias, 7; Nahtahn, 6; Gabriel, 2; and Abigail, 1.
His guilty plea would allow one of four possible outcomes in the trial: guilty, guilty by reason of insanity, not guilty by mental defect, or not guilty.
If found guilty, the death penalty would not be automatic. Jurors would then be asked to consider extenuating circumstances and could sentence Jones to life without parole rather than death.
Prospective jurors were interviewed individually and asked "are there any religious, personal, or moral beliefs that would prevent you from imposing the death penalty" or for voting for a sentence of life without parole.
Jury selection begins 10:30 a.m. Monday and later that afternoon the judge will hear motions from both sides.
Opening arguments are scheduled to begin Tuesday afternoon, and the first witness in the case should be called Wednesday morning.
After the final jury is set, the trial is expected to last about three weeks, into June.