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Father accused of killing five kids

A US man accused of killing his five children has been treated for mental health issues in the past, his lawyers say.

Timothy Ray Jones Jr has also waived his first court appearance in South Carolina.

His lawyer, Aimee Zmroczek, would not elaborate on the mental health problems of the 32-year-old but says they want him evaluated as soon as possible.

In court documents, Jones says appearing in court today would have undermined his ability to receive a fair trial and potentially tainted the jury pool.

Ms Zmroczek said he is being portrayed as a monster but is a scared man trying to deal with the situation.

Jones is accused of killing his five children, driving around for days with their decomposing bodies before dumping them in rural Alabama.

Ms Zmroczek says he has been held in isolation under suicide watch. Lexington County authorities expect to transfer Jones to a state prison soon for his safety.

Later today, the five children - aged one to eight - will be remembered at a memoriali n Amory, Mississippi.

A poem will be read for each child, and there will be a balloon ceremony and a slide show.

Divorce records say the children were: Merah, eight; Elias, seven; Nahtahn, six; Gabriel, two and Elaine Marie, one.

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