As jurors begin the second day of deliberation on Monday morning to determine the fate of Quinton Tellis, who stands accused of murdering Jessica Chambers, Circuit Judge Gerald Chatham made a startling announcement.
Some smuggled a cell phone into the courtroom on Sunday and snapped photos of the jury, he said, according to The Clarion-Ledger. Those photos ended up on Facebook.
"That person will be arrested," he said. "This serves as your warning."
Cell phones are not allowed in the courtroom.
Panola County Sheriff Dennis Darby said the spectator who snapped the photos has not yet been charged.
“We can take care of this anytime,” Darby told The Clarion-Ledger. “We know these people and their potential and capability. She was warned like everyone else in the courtroom.”
Darby would not say whether the woman is connected to either party in the case. However, a local news reporter with WATN, an ABC affiliate in Memphis, tweeted that she was told it was someone related to Tellis, as well as a senior producer for Law & Crime.
Later Monday, the jury told Chatham that they unable to reach a verdict. He asked them to continue their deliberations.
Last year, the trial resulted in a hung jury when a different jury was also unable to come to a unanimous decision.
Chambers was discovered walking on the side of a rural road in the tiny town of Courtland, Mississippi near her burning car on Dec. 6, 2014. More than 93 percent of her body had been badly burned. Prosecutors believe she was inside her car when it was doused with an accelerant before being set ablaze. She managed to escape the burning vehicle but died a short time later at the hospital. It took police 14 months, and several interviews with Tellis, to make an arrest in the case.
[Photo: Associated Press]
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