The South Carolina dad on trial for killing his five young children was known to “whip” his kids over minor things — like spilling a drink — and would often force them to “stand in the corner on their tippy toes all day long,” an ex-girlfriend said Wednesday in court.
But the man was not “insane,” his ex testified — just “overangry.”
“He should’ve calmed himself down before he took discipline actions,” Chrystal Ballentine told jurors, according to The Post and Courier.
“I’ve never seen him have any kind of symptoms of being insane,” she said of her ex, Timothy Jones Jr., who is facing the death penalty. “He was acting off, but I don’t know if it’s insanity.”
Ballentine claimed that there was nothing she could do about Jones’ temper and extreme disciplining, which also included alleged beatings with belts. She said the two of them met in 2012 while she was working as his babysitter — and just 17-years-old.
“I could hear it and couldn’t do nothing about it,” Ballentine explained. “Every time I did, we’d get in a battle. It caused a lot of conflict.”
Jones, who is pleading not guilty by reason of insanity, is accused of murdering his children — ages 1, 2, 6, 7, and 8 — in August 2014. He confessed to the killings after his arrest, with his defense team arguing that a schizophrenic disorder had created voices in his head, which forced him to carry them out.
Ballentine, however, claims it’s all a sham.
“He knew what was right and wrong,” she said. “He knew about God — what you should do in life. He was pretty sure of himself and pretty sure of everything.”
The young woman spoke highly of Jones, despite the accusations against him.
“Cooking, cleaning, washing clothes — that was the parent Tim was,” she told jurors, calling him “wonderful.”
“Overall, Tim was better than your average parent,” Ballentine added. “Probably better than I am.”
Prosecutors say Jones, 37, flew into a rage and strangled all but one of his children — whose cause of death has not been revealed — after he found one of them toying with an electrical outlet in their home. Jones claims the massacre started after he accidentally killed his 6-year-old son Nahtahn by forcing him to do squats and push-ups for several hours as punishment.
Ballentine and her mother-in-law, Ruby Durney — who also testified Wednesday — both insist though that Jones was an “amazing father.”
“I don’t think anything could go wrong if he was the father of your kids,” Durney said.
Jones’ father, Timothy Jones Sr., gave a much different description of him after taking the stand Wednesday.
“He’s just a sick man,” said Jones Sr., noting how the alleged killer’s mother was sent to a mental institution for schizophrenia. “It’s unfortunate. It’s just bad DNA, I guess.”
With Post wires