Solicitor’s Statement Following Death Penalty Trial

Children Group photo with Merah, Elias, Nahtahn, Gabriel, and Abigail

On August 28, 2014, Merah, Elias, Nahtahn, Gabriel, and Abigail lost their lives at the hands of their father, Timothy Jones, Jr. The Lexington County jury convicted Jones of five counts of Murder last week on June 4th. Today, the same jury gave these five innocent children the justice they deserved when they returned a death verdict.

Our office, multiple law enforcement agencies, and this Lexington community have carried this case for years. It took a long time to get here and we are grateful to the men and women of Lexington County that served on this jury. We sincerely thank them.

I want to take the opportunity to thank several other people. I want to begin by thanking the prosecution team. Deputy Solicitors Shawn Graham and Suzanne Mayes, Chief Investigator Matt Martin, and Senior Paralegals Tara Grigsby and Rhonda Robinson have been phenomenal. This was truly a team effort. I also want to thank Senior Assistant Deputy AG Melody Brown with the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office for all of her assistance.

I want to thank Lexington County Sheriff Jay Koon, Lt. Jesse Laintz, Sgt. Adam Creech, and the entire Sheriff’s Department. Thank you to Sheriff Charlie Crumpton, former Undersheriff Marty Patterson and the Smith County Sheriff’s Office in Mississippi. I appreciate the assistance of Special Agent Dave Mackey with the FBI. Chief Mark Keel and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) assisted us in several aspects of this case and I am grateful to them.

A very special thank you goes to Saxe Gotha Elementary school. These teachers and administrators were truly unbelievable. They provided a family of care and support for these beautiful children. Thank you Principal Beth Houck, Janet Ricard, Amy Shearer, Johnathan Stone, Jacquelyn Moran, and the countless other teachers that loved these children.

Sheriff Jay Koon remarked that “for nearly five years, this case has been a part of so many lives at the Sheriff’s Department. The five children motivated us each step of the way. They are the reason we worked so hard with everyone else who wanted to do right by them.” Sheriff Koon further commented that “I’m proud of the work everyone from the Sheriff’s Department put in for those children. I want to thank our federal and state partners from the FBI and SLED, and everyone who assisted in the case, especially those in Mississippi and Alabama.”

From the day this case began up until today, we all worked together to ensure justice was served. As Solicitor, I took an oath to do justice in the Eleventh Judicial Circuit and I am truly thankful that this was achieved today. We will forever remember these five innocents.

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