While much of the focus of the Jessica Chambers murder case that ended in yet another mistrial last week has been on her relationship to suspect Quinton Tellis, another woman in Tellis’ life is a crucial part of the story.
Tellis, who is accused of burning the teenager to death in their hometown of Courtland, Mississippi, is also a person of interest in the 2015 stabbing murder of Taiwanese exchange student Meing-Chen Hsiao in Louisiana.
Chakita Jackson, a Louisiana woman Tellis would marry less than a year after the tragic death of Chambers, is part of Tellis’ alibi in the Chambers case — and is also part of Tellis’ story in Louisiana.
Tellis has not been charged with Hsiao’s murder, but is serving 10 years in connection with the case, for three counts of unauthorized use of a debit card, according to the Clarion-Ledger.
Jackson, one of five women Tellis had been texting with the day Chambers was set on fire, had been trying to get in touch with Tellis that fateful day. In the evening, Tellis sent a message to Chambers saying he was going to have a friend over, and then he called Jackson. Records presented in court show that he sent Jackson money later that night, and that she loaded the money onto her own card.
While it is unclear how Jackson’s and Tellis’ relationship progressed in the months after Chambers’ death in December 2014, Buzzfeed reporters found that about eight months later, Tellis didn’t show up to a meeting with his probation officer — around the time he moved to Louisiana to be with Jackson and her young son.
The date of their marriage — August 8, 2015 — was the day Hsiao’s body was found, CNN reports.
In the arrest warrant, investigator Duane Cookson attested that Tellis had been identified as a suspicious person after a neighbor had identified him as someone who had frequented the student’s apartment and argued with her in Monroe, Louisiana in July.
Chakita Jackson’s cousin Eric Hill — the same Eric whose name was tattooed onto Tellis’ sister’s hand — is, according to this outstanding murder warrant, the person who pointed the finger at Tellis.
Hill was also Tellis’ friend. In an interview with the police, Jackson said that Tellis was unemployed at the time. When he was not watching her son, she said Tellis would spend time with her cousin Eric.
Eric Hill, according the arrest warrant, had gone to the police with key information about Hsiao’s death, claiming he had learned the details of the murder from a tattoo client. Hill identified this man in a photo lineup but failed to identify Tellis, his friend and cousin-in-law, as a known person in another lineup. When Chakita Jackson told the police that Hill was her cousin and knew Tellis, the police located Hill for a second interview.
Hill admitted that he falsely accused his tattoo client because he was angry at him, and that he learned those details from Tellis after his wedding to Chakita Jackson, according to the arrest warrant. Hill said they were sharing “war stories” and trying to “one up” each other.
It is unclear if Jackson, who appears to have intermittent contact with the Tellis family as per public Facebook posts, is still married to Tellis, who has been moved to Louisiana to face charges related to the Hsiao murder according to the Louisiana Department Of Corrections Inmate Locater.
“We actually borrowed him from Louisiana, so before we do anything, Louisiana will have to finish their case,” said Panola County District Attorney John Champion to Commercial Appeal, which reported on October 4 that Tellis would be moved back to Louisiana before any further action in the Jessica Chambers case.
Now that Tellis is back in Louisiana, he is expected to be formally arrested for the murder of Meing-Chen Hsiao, Monroe Police Department confirmed with Oxygen.com.
Oxygen.com has not been able to make contact with Chakita Jackson.