A Florida man who fatally beat his wife with a bat and later strangled their four kids was sentenced to death Friday.
At a brief hearing, Ocala County Judge Anthony Tatti formalized Michael Jones’ fate after a jury recommended the death penalty at a January sentencing trial.
A lawyer for the quintuple killer said he plans to appeal the sentence, according to the Ocala Star Banner.
The grisly July 2019 deaths were triggered after Jones’ wife, Casei Jones, accused him of cheating on her after she combed through his phone.
Jones later told cops that his wife raised a bat during a vicious fight inside their Marion County home and that he bludgeoned her to death with the weapon in a blind fury.
The four young children — two of whom he shared with his spouse — were asleep during the beating and did not wake up.
Jones told investigators he wrapped his wife’s corpse in blankets, stuffed it in a tote bag, and placed it in a closet in their home.
The panicked killer then used her cellphone to post items on her social media accounts to conceal her death, the Ocala Star Banner reported.
Jones took his two stepchildren, Preston Bowers, 4, and Cameron Bowers, 8, to stay with their dad and dropped off his own children, Mercalli Jones, 2, and Alyana Jones, 11 months, at their grandmother’s home.
With summer break nearing at the time, Jones worried the kids’ absence from school would raise suspicions.
A week before Cameron was slated to resume school, Jones pulled him out of bed as he slept and strangled him on a bedroom floor before putting his body in a suitcase.
Jones told police he choked Preston with a zip tie the next day before drowning him in a bathtub.
He also placed his body in a suitcase.
Several days later, Jones said, he pulled up to a local police precinct with his two daughters and considered turning himself in for the three murders.
But he backed out of that plan, opting instead to drown the toddlers in a bathtub.
“I don’t know, just everything mounted up and it seemed like the way out,” Jones told police after his arrest, according to police documents.
He was ultimately placed into custody in September 2019 after crashing his car in a minor accident.
A responding officer was soon overwhelmed with a strong smell from Jones’ car and found Casei Jones’ body in the rear of his minivan.
He later led cops to the bodies of the four children in a nearby wooded area.
Jones pleaded guilty last November, but his lawyers highlighted his dysfunctional childhood in pushing for a life term rather than the death sentence.
They told jurors Jones was molested by his father and beaten by his stepfather and that he would hear voices that commanded him to commit criminal acts.
A jury rejected the arguments and recommended his execution.
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