A South Carolina father was sentenced to death Thursday for killing his five children with his own hands, the AP reports. After they were dead, he drove around with their bodies for nine days before dumping them in garbage bags on the side of an Alabama dirt road. Timothy Jones Jr. showed no emotion as the jury delivered the verdict after less than two hours of deliberation. They also could have sentenced him to life without parole. The same Lexington County jury convicted Jones of five counts of murder last week in the deaths of his children, ages 1 to 8, in their Lexington home in August 2014. Prosecutors pushed for a death sentence. Solicitor Rock Hubbard told jurors in his closing argument earlier Thursday that if any jurors had doubts whether Jones deserved the death penalty, all they had to do is consider the five garbage bags where he dumped their bodies in rural Alabama.
But a lawyer for Jones told jurors they alone could show mercy—if not for a father who killed five kids with his own hands, then for a family that has seen so much death and still wants to love Jones, even through prison bars. Jones' father hung his head in his hands as the verdict was read and other family members appeared to cry. During his closing argument Thursday, defense lawyer Casey Secor focused on how much Jones, 37, is loved by his family even after the killings. His grandmother, father, and siblings all asked jurors to spare his life . The children's mother also said she wouldn't choose the death penalty for Jones because she's against capital punishment, but would respect the jury's decision. The defense had argued Jones suffers from undiagnosed schizophrenia made worse by drug and alcohol use, but jurors rejected that argument. (The children's mother said she would like to rip Jones' face off.)