Chambers murder trial underway

Firefighters were reportedly responding to a vehicle on fire when they saw Chambers walking towards them dressed only in underwear and suffering from burns on 93 percent of her body.

The trial proceedings are being livestreamed by WMC-TV, news partner of the DeSoto Times-Tribune. Tellis still faces a murder charge for the death of a 34-year-old woman who he stabbed more than 30 times to try and get her PIN number.

This week the trial began for 29-year-old Quinton Tellis who has pleaded "not guilty" in the murder of Jessica Chambers.

A parade of firefighters and law enforcement personnel took the stand in the first full day of testimony at the capital murder trial of Quinton Tellis. He is also facing another murder indictment in Louisiana. The trial is expected to start at approximately 2pm ET/1pm CT in Batesville, Mississippi.

In his opening statement, Prosecutor John Champion acknowledged that the first responders did hear her say the name "Eric" or "Derek" but that she could have been saying "Tellis", but the damage done to her throat made it sound different.

First responders to the scene where MS teenager Jessica Chambers was found with burns on 93 percent of her body said in court Wednesday morning she was "mentally in shock", "in a trance", and that she "looked like a zombie" when she told them a man named Eric set her on fire.

"I think he suffocated her", Champion said.

"I comforted her and maintained her consciousness".

Cole said he had never witnessed a person being so badly burned in all his years of firefighting experience.

"He insisted this is not something he would do", Palmer said. She had burns over 98 percent of her body. She said Tellis was buying a pre-paid debit card miles away in Batesville at the time Chambers was burned.

Her body was covered with soot and blisters and her hair was singed.

Most of Chambers' clothes had been burned off.

Firefighters who responded to the scene testified Wednesday they wrapped Chambers in blankets to keep her warm. She had been doused with a flammable liquid and set on fire near a tree farm and died 4 hours later at a Memphis hospital.

Tellis' attorney, Darla Palmer, said that despite evidence against him, the story about the 29-year-old didn't add up because Chambers allegedly didn't know the last name of the man who killed her - but knew Tellis well.

"At a certain point I even set down close to her", said Cole, battling back tears. Some of the responders said they knew her while others didn't. "All I heard was Eric", Hailey testified.

The first responders became emotional when they were asked to describe the events of the night before Chambers died.

Champion said Tellis first told investigators he only saw Chambers on the morning of her death.

In another curious exchange on the stand, another witness, Jerry Lee King, told the courtroom he discovered Jessica Chambers' key ring which had apparently been thrown in a shallow ditch not far from the crime scene.

Vanessa Coleman

Comments