Dustin Blount, an FBI agent who spoke to suspect Quinton Tellis 11 days after Jessica’s horrific burning death, testified for the prosecution on the third day of the trial last fall.
Blount had spoken to a cooperative Tellis outside his residence in Courtland, Mississippi, while looking at his property. “We stepped in the shed. We asked him about a gasoline container,” said Blount, testifying that Tellis confirmed it was his container.
Blount also asked Tellis about his relationship to Jessica Chambers. “They struck up a friendship fairly quickly to the point where they would ride around a lot together, numerous times,” he said.
Blount testified that Tellis confirmed he had sex with Chambers once in a yard just south of his residence, in Chambers’ car, days before her death. According to Blount, Tellis told him that a few days after Chambers’ death, he removed her from his phone.
“He erased all communications he had had with Jessica from his cell phone — texts and phone contacts,” testified Blount.
In the cross-examination, the FBI agent was asked if he had had asked Tellis why he deleted the texts from his phone.
Blount said he did not ask him that.
“Would you want to know the reason why he did that?” asked the defense attorney.
“I would say not,” responded Blount.
The defense attorney pressed on — why wasn’t Tellis questioned more about the deleted texts? “I just failed to ask the question,” replied the FBI agent.
But “Unspeakable Crime: The Killing Of Jessica Chambers” might have the answer.
In a phone conversation with Tellis from prison, legal analyst Beth Karas asked Quinton Tellis why he deleted the texts and communications after her death. “I wasn’t scared but after we found out who it was...who died there, I mean, I just deleted my contact with her,” replied Tellis. “Because I didn’t want to have a deceased person on my phone, with a number in my phone that’s just gonna be no longer used.”
Laqunta Tellis, Quinton’s sister, seconds this logic of deleting a deceased person’s contact: “I’m gonna miss them, but I’m not gonna keep their information in my phone.”
But Jessica’s family feels differently.
“Two days after…he erased her out of his life,” said Jessica’s father, Ben Chambers. “Every single thing is still on my phone,” says AJ Prince, Jessica’s sister. Yes, Jessica was her sister, but Prince thinks that Tellis’ relationship to Jessica was “significant.”
According to the prosecution, these erased texts included requests for sex such as “Im horny,” “Can I have sum” and “Come lay with me,” and other texts that suggested a desire to meet up.
Quinton Tellis’ last text to Jessica, published to the jury as an exhibit in the first trial, was at 7:42 p.m. at about the time she was set on fire. In the message, Tellis wrote, “Babe, my friend’s coming over, can’t see you. Good night, sweet dreams.”
Learn more details this case in “Unspeakable Crime: The Killing Of Jessica Chambers” on Oxygen, Saturdays 7/6c.
[Photo: Oxygen screengrab]