Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against a South Carolina father accused of strangling four of his children and beating a fifth to death last year at their home.

Local news outlets report that Solicitor Donnie Myers served notice of his decision during a hearing Wednesday for Timothy Ray Jones Jr.

Authorities say the 33-year-old father killed his five children at their Lexington County home in late August 2014, then drove around with their bodies in trash bags in his SUV for nine days before dumping them in a rural Alabama field.

Jones was arrested in Mississippi after a deputy said he smelled the stench of death coming from the SUV at a traffic checkpoint.

Jones faces five counts of murder. A judge has ordered a psychiatric evaluation of him.

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Information from: The State, http://www.thestate.com