The former boyfriend of Jessica Chambers, the Mississippi woman who was burned alive and whose murder trial captured national attention, was gunned down Friday morning and now it appears that he may have been killed over a dice game and a few hundred bucks.
Travis Sanford, 33, was killed Friday morning at a home in Courtland, Panola County Sheriff Dennis Darby said. District Attorney John Champion confirmed that he was Jessica Chambers' boyfriend when she was burned to death in Courtland in 2014. Sanford was incarcerated at the time and was cleared as a potential suspect, Darby said.
Myron Ardyl Powell Jr., of Batesville, has been charged with his murder.
Darby said the pair were playing a dice game all night before the fatal shooting and that Sanford was killed over $700 and the game itself, according to local outlet WHBQ. Sanford was shot with a double barrel shotgun loaded with buckshot. The gun was later found down the road, not far from where Sanford was killed. Two shots were reportedly fired; one hit Sanford, the other blew a hole in the wall of the house, according to WHBQ.
Sanford's girlfriend and his children were present in the home during the shooting.
Powell’s bond has not been set yet.
Sanford was reportedly a standout receiver when he attended high school at South Panola High School, according to the Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Mississippi.
His ex Chambers died in a hospital Dec. 7, 2014, a day after being set on fire in Courtland, a small northern Mississippi town of 500, about 65 miles south of Memphis, Tennessee. Police found Chambers walking on the side of a rural road near her burning car. More than 93 percent of her body was badly burned. Prosecutors believe she was inside her car when it was doused with an accelerant then set ablaze but somehow she managed to escape, only to tragically die shortly after.
Two juries have deadlocked on whether to convict Quinton Tellis in her death. Prosecutors had said cellphone evidence showed Tellis and Chambers at similar locations, and they played videotaped interrogations in which Tellis appeared to change his story when confronted with new evidence. Tellis initially denied seeing Chambers late that day, but later admitted he had been with her up until about an hour before her death.
Mississippi authorities have not decided whether to try Tellis a third time.
He is currently jailed in Ouachita Parish, Louisiana, where the prosecutor says a grand jury will consider charges in the death of Ming-Chen Hsiao, a Taiwanese woman fatally stabbed in Monroe in 2015. Tellis pleaded guilty in 2016 to unauthorized use of her credit card. After finishing his sentence for that crime, he was arrested on a charge of murder in her death.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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