Quinton Tellis is being retried for murder after his first trial ended in a mistrial last fall. He’s accused of burning 19-year-old Jessica Chambers alive in the small town of Courtland, Mississippi in 2014. Police found Jessica, a former cheerleader, walking on the side of a rural road near her burning car on the evening of December 6, 2014. More than 93 percent of her body was badly burned. She was inside her car when it was doused with an accelerant and set ablaze, but somehow managed to escape, dying in the hospital shortly after.
Eddie Eidson, who was one of many the first responders, remembered Jessica's belabored breathing as she was lying on her side. “Not a damn thing you can do about it,” he said to "Unspeakable Crime: The Killing of Jessica Chambers," which airs on Oxygen Saturdays at 7/ 6c. Eidson also recalled that Jessica said "Eric did this," which mirrored what other first responders heard.
Watch the latest from the live retrial of Quinton Tellis below.
Watch archived videos from the trial at Oxygen's YouTube channel.
Quinton Tellis pleaded not guilty in the murder of Jessica Chambers and has maintained his innocence. During Tellis' first trial, his defense attorney, Darla Palmer, said: “Eric is not on trial today, but ladies and gentlemen, he should be.
Tellis has a criminal history, and his most chilling brush with the law was when he was questioned in connection with the brutal stabbing death of another woman eight months after Chambers' murder. Tellis was allegedly caught using the debit card of Ming-Chen Hsiao, an international graduate student in Louisiana, who police say was tortured and stabbed more than 30 times, according to KNOE-TV in Monroe, Louisiana. Police believe that Hsiao, 34, who also went by “Mandy,” knew Tellis, but the nature of their relationship isn’t clear, according to KTVE-TV. Tellis has not been charged or indicted for Hsiao's murder. However, in May 2016, he pleaded guilty to the unauthorized use of Hsiao’s credit card and received a 10-year jail sentence.
The Jessica Chambers case is explored in the docu-series “Unspeakable Crime: The Killing of Jessica Chambers,” airing Saturdays at 7/6c on Oxygen.
[Jessica Chambers photo provided by the Chambers family; Quinton Tellis photo via Ouachita Parish Sheriff's Office]