The prosecution rested Friday in the penalty phase of the Timothy Jones South Carolina murder trial.
The state is seeking the death penalty for the Lexington father, convicted of killing his five children and dumping their bodies in a field in Alabama in 2014.
Teachers who taught the three oldest up until their deaths testified for the prosecution Friday. They said 8-year-old Merah, 7-year-old Elias and 6-year-old Nahtahn were well liked by their classmates.
Jacquelyn Moran, Eli’s 1st grade teacher, said he enjoyed learning, was curious, and always included other children.
During her testimony, Timothy Jones cried as she showed the jury a picture Eli drew of him and his younger brother Nahtahn, and read what he wrote.
“At the bottom it says, I love Tahn because he gives me things to play with, and he gives stuff I want.” Moran continued reading, saying “God, thank you for my brother, thank you, thank you, thank you, you did a wonderful job making my brother. I love God.”
Two kindergarten teachers who had 6-year-old Nahtahn in class described him as a little boy who was always smiling, but they also picked up on some issues he was having at home.
Kindergarten teacher Johnathan Stone testified Friday he stopped sending frowny faces home when Nahtahn misbehaved because he would come back to school the next day very emotional.
Stone says Nahtahn told him his father ripped his homework folder in half after he reported marks around the boy’s neck to social workers.
Another teacher to testify was the first to see bruises on Nahtahn’s neck, prompting her to file a report with DSS.
The defense also presented two witnesses, a pastor who provided Jones with spiritual guidance since he’s been in jail and a deputy who’s been transporting Jones to and from prison during the trial.
When they return next week, jurors will choose between death or life without parole for Jones.