A South Carolina mother told a jury Tuesday that while she personally would like to "rip the face off" the ex-husband who murdered her five children, she wants them to spare his life. "I don't personally feel I have the right to put anyone’s life in my hands," Amber Jones Kyzer said. She told the courtroom that she didn't want the family of ex-husband Timothy Ray Jones, 37, to feel the grief she felt after losing her children, the State reports. "He did not show my children any mercy by any means," she said. "But my kids loved him and if I’m speaking on behalf of my kids and not myself, that’s what I have to say." Jones was found guilty last week of killing the five children in his Lexington County home in 2014. They were found buried in garbage bags near a highway in Alabama. "I pray for Tim all the time," Kyzer told jurors.
Kyzer testified that Jones' abuse and erratic behavior had driven her from the home. They divorced in 2013. Earlier in the trial, the court heard a taped confession in which Jones, a former Intel engineer, admitted murdering the two girls and three boys. He said he forced 6-year-old Nathahn to exercise to death before he strangled 8-year-old Merah, 7-year-old Elias, 2-year-old Gabriel, and 1-year-old Abigail, NBC reports. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty, but his life will be spared if at least one juror votes for life without the possibility of parole instead. A social worker testifying for the defense described a chaotic upbringing, saying Jones' father was born when his grandmother was raped by her stepfather at age 12 and his mother was a schizophrenic abused by a voodoo-obsessed father. A court-appointed psychiatrist said Jones' own mental problems were the result of using synthetic marijuana, not an inherited disorder, the AP reports. (Jones was investigated for abuse before the murders.)