Second mistrial declared in Jessica Chambers' murder case as jury fails to take a call on Quinton Tellis, the man accused of burning her alive
29-year-old Quinton Tellis has been accused of killing his 19-year-old girlfriend Jessica Chambers after setting her ablaze in her car in 2014
The murder case of Jessica Chambers continues after a Mississippi judge on Monday declared a second mistrial in the capital murder case of the accused Quinton Tellis. Reports state that the mistrial was declared after the jury could not come to a consensus for the second time in a row.
The 29-year-old Tellis has been accused of killing his 19-year-old girlfriend Chambers after setting her ablaze in her car in 2014. Reports state that jurors deliberated for nearly 10 hours over two days in Tellis' retrial to determine whether he was guilty of the crime or not before Panola County Circuit Judge Gerald Chatham declared a mistrial on Monday.
According to WREG reports, the defense attorney said that the jury panel was split in half, with six jurors voting to convict Tellis and the other six voting to acquit him.
'Skin was hanging off of her lips': First responders testify in Jessica Chambers murder retrial https://t.co/dpP0dDKTcp— Daily Mail US (@DailyMail) September 26, 2018
The jurors, during the first trial, had to choose between the evidence which the prosecutors said linked Tellis to Chamber's death, and the testimony provided by emergency workers who said that Chambers had said someone named Eric had attacked her moments before she succumbed to her burns. The first trial, which was conducted last year, had resulted in a hung jury.
District Attorney John Champion released a statement after the second mistrial, saying he had not seen a more attentive and hardworking jury in his 25 years as a prosecutor. He added that even though the jurors did their job, they could not reach an agreement in the end.
"There’s still absolutely 100 percent no doubt in my mind that Quinton Tellis did this," the prosecutor said, adding that he was not sure if Tellis would be put on trial a third time, the Daily Mail reported.
While Tellis' defense attorney, Darla Palmer, said that although they would have preferred a "not guilty" verdict, they were still satisfied with the outcome of the second trial.
"This will be the second time we’ve done this. Each time, though we can’t get all the jurors to agree on it, we certainly had those that feel that he’s not guilty of this charge," Palmer said. Reports state that Tellis is also facing another murder indictment in Louisiana in the death of Meing-Chen Hsiao in Monroe.
According to reports, Chambers, who was found burned alive in her car, was romantically engaged with Tellis in 2014.
Authorities said that the teenager was doused with gasoline and then set on fire on a rural road in Courtland. While Tellis denies killing Chambers, he has been caught in a police interrogation video repeatedly changing the details about his whereabouts and who he was with on the day Chambers was murdered.
Spectator posts pictures of Jessica Chambers jury, judge threatens arrest https://t.co/QNcleGW6pq— 𝕋𝕙𝕖𝕣𝕖𝕤𝕖 𝔸𝕡𝕖𝕝 (@TRex21) October 1, 2018
Tellis initially told investigators that he met Chambers at noon on the day she died. However, he changed his story when investigators told him that witnesses had seen them together later that day and even their phone data showed they were together nearly two hours before Chambers was found dead.
In another interrogation video, when investigators questioned him on the burn marks on his arm, he had said that he got them after he tried to jump over a fire pit and fell, telling investigators that he had a burn mark on his bum too from the incident.
"I ain't kill nobody ... I ain't even got it in my heart. If you kill somebody, you going to hell. That ain't me," an emotional Tellis can be heard saying in one of the recordings.