At trial, babysitters describe doting but strict dad

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Several women who babysat for a South Carolina father charged with killing his five children say he was a doting dad who demanded strict discipline.

Timothy Jones Jr.’s defense called the babysitters to the stand this week. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against Jones, who police say strangled and beat his five children.

Chrystal Ballentine testified Wednesday she was 17 when she started watching the children in Jones’ Lexington home and became his girlfriend. She says she could hear Jones beat the children through the walls of the home.

Babysitter Joy Lorick went with the Jones family to Disney World. She said Jones loved the kids, but called social workers after he beat them with a belt.

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Jones’ lawyers are arguing he’s not guilty by reason of insanity.

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