Saturday, October 4, 2014

Custodial dad accused of killing 5 children once threatened to "snap wife's neck" and "kill the neighbors"; why wasn't this vicious criminal in jail instead of being awarded custody? (Lexington County, South Carolina)

This pisses me off to no end. Some dude threatens to kill you, and has assaulted you in the past. He threatens to kill the neighbors. The response of the police: a pamphlet on domestic violence and information on obtaining a (frequently useless) order of protection. Wow.

No wonder the mother didn't push prosecution. It was pretty clear that any effort to do so would have been totally ineffective and only piss of the abuser. She got the message big time: We don't give a sh**, you're on your own, lady.

So of course the abuser gains total control of the kids and moves them out of state after the divorce--something divorcing mothers with custody are almost never allowed to do these days.

All news accounts thus far have been very vague as to the role of the family courts in all this, which I suspect is intentional. After all, as reporters often say, if you go after a judge, you might as well dig two graves: one for the judge and one for you. And that's if you're lucky, because it could very well just be your grave.

But it didn't even stop there. Even after allegations of child abuse are raised, the kids were STILL RELEASED BACK TO THE FATHER. Why? Who was responsible for that bone-headed decision that lead to the cold-blooded murder of five children? Let's see the names, people.

The police/courts/DSS system utterly failed this mother. I'm surprised they even went through the motions of  searching after the mother reported the children as missing.

Yet another case where the powers managed to totally enable and support the killer father. And yet their roles in all this will be kept unmentioned and invisible.

Dad is identified as TIMOTY RAY JONES JR.

Report: Accused Lexington killer of 5 children once threatened to ‘snap wife’s neck’

By JOHN MONK October 3, 2014 Updated 13 hours ago

LEXINGTON COUNTY, SC — The accused killer of five Lexington County children once threatened to “snap” his wife’s neck, according to a 2012 incident report released by the sheriff’s department.

Timothy Ray Jones Jr. “made the threat while they (he and his wife, Amber Marie Jones) were in a heated argument,” the May 29, 2012, report said.

he report gives one of the first public looks at the tensions within the Jones family. It also reveals that Timothy Jones, an ex-convict from Illinois, had tattoos of two deadly creatures – a scorpion on his upper right arm, and a cobra snake on his upper left arm.

Information came from Amber Jones, who went to the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department to report her husband’s alleged threats. There, she talked to Deputy K. P. O’Dell, who took down her information and wrote up the report.

At the time of the threats, Amber and Timothy Jones were separated and had four children.

Since that report, they had another child, Elaine, and divorced. Jones, 32, now faces murder charges in the deaths of all five of his children – Merah, 8; Elias, 7; Nahtahn, 6; Gabriel, 2; and Elaine, 1. Their bodies were found in garbage bags in Alabama in early September, days after Amber Jones reported the children and their father missing. Timothy Jones led authorities to the bodies, investigators have said.

The children’s deaths have stunned the Lexington County community and attracted national attention.
Jones was a well-paid computer engineer with Intel in Lexington County.

Amber Jones has not spoken publicly about her husband or their children.

During her 2012 interview with O’Dell, Amber Jones also told the deputy of her husband’s other threats and menacing actions – such as spitting in her face and “head-butting” her, according to the report.

Timothy Jones also “threatened to shoot the neighbors,” Amber Jones told the deputy.

The incident report notes that Amber Jones was given a pamphlet on criminal domestic violence. She also was advised on how to obtain a protection order, the report says. It is not known whether she ever got one.

Nancy Barton, an expert on domestic violence, said the incident report contains at least two “lethality indicators” – the threat to kill neighbors, who are outside the family, and the threat to “snap” his wife’s neck.

“That’s clearly a death threat – to snap the neck,” Barton said.

A “lethality indicator” means the person making the threat might kill the partner, though that’s not certain, Barton said. She added it was good that the deputy at least gave Amber Jones information about domestic violence.

The report classifies Amber Jones’ allegations as “Family Offense – Non Violent.” It also says Amber Jones came to the sheriff’s department because “she wanted to document the incident, and she should have in the past.”

On June 26, 2012, the status of the case was listed as “exceptionally cleared.” Amber Jones had declined to prosecute, the report said.

As released by the sheriff’s department, the report was redacted – meaning information was deleted that the sheriff’s department lawyer believed was confidential or might interfere with the prosecution of Timothy Jones. A sheriff's spokesman Friday declined to release any additional information about the incident report, citing a judicial gag order and the ongoing investigation.

In the last month, the S.C. Department of Social Services released sketchy information about three encounters its case agents had with the Jones family:

• From September 2011 to October 2012, DSS investigated the Jones family after an allegation of neglect, and services were provided. During that time, the father and mother separated and the father took the children to Mississippi, where his family lived.

In 2013, Amber and Timothy Jones were divorced, according to records in the Lexington County courthouse.

• On May 5 of this year, the family was back in South Carolina, and DSS got a report alleging physical abuse by Timothy Jones. The Lexington County DSS and two sheriff’s department deputies jointly interviewed him. The children apparently were released into their father’s care. The report didn’t say to whom the abuse was directed. That case was closed July 24.

• On Aug. 7 of this year, DSS got another report alleging physical abuse, but it didn’t specify the target of the abuse. DSS and sheriff’s deputies went to the home and examined the children, who were left in their father’s care.

In early September, when Amber Jones reported her children missing, the Jones family matter remained “an open investigation.”

The children’s bodies were located in rural Alabama Sept. 9. Authorities believe they had been dead since late August and were killed in Lexington County.

Although results of autopsies have yet to be released, authorities said they believe they died from strangulation.