FBI agent: Man in burning death admits sex, denies timing

Quinton Tellis | Photo: MGN Online

An FBI agent testified Thursday that the man on trial for burning a Mississippi woman to death told him the two had sex, but not on the day she died.

Posted: Sep 28, 2018 9:43 AM

BATESVILLE, Miss. (AP) — An FBI agent testified Thursday that the man on trial for burning a Mississippi woman to death told him the two had sex, but not on the day she died.

Agent Dustin Blount testified in the capital murder retrial of Quinton Tellis, who is accused of killing Jessica Chambers near a small Mississippi town in 2014. A jury couldn't reach a verdict in Tellis' first trial last year.


Jessica Chambers | Photo: MGN Online

Blount says Tellis told him he spent the morning of Chambers' attack riding around with Chambers and a friend while the two women smoked marijuana. According to Blount, Tellis denied seeing her again, saying his only contact was a text message where Chambers asked for money. Tellis told the agent he deleted all of his text messages with Chambers after he heard of her death, although prosecutors have recovered them and are likely to introduce them into evidence later.

Blount said Tellis told him he and Chambers had intercourse in the passenger seat of her Kia Rio with the seat in a reclined position. The passenger seat in the burned car was found in that position.

The FBI agent also testified that Tellis showed him a gas can in a shed in front of his home. Prosecutors believe Tellis poured gas on Chambers to light her on fire after the two had sex, leading to her death the next days from burns.

A plastic surgeon on Thursday reopened the question of whether Chambers could talk. Dr. William Hickerson testified that first responders may have wanted to interpret her sounds as words, but that his opinion was she was unable to form words because of her wounds. Ten emergency workers have testified they heard Chambers say someone named Eric attacked her, and defense lawyers say that proves the prosecution has the wrong man on trial. Hickerson, though, said emergency workers were in shock too.

"They're going to try their best to hear anything," Hickerson said. "With my medical opinion, that would not be the case."

Jurors Thursday also took a tour of sites involved in the crime in the small town of Courtland, about 60 miles (100 kilometers) south of Memphis, Tennessee.

Panola County Circuit Court Judge Gerald Chatham also agreed that prosecutors could recreate the crime scene Thursday night, in part to give jurors an idea of how noisy and dark it was. Defense attorneys object to the recreation.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 91935

Reported Deaths: 2780
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds6884152
DeSoto527653
Harrison366071
Jackson332666
Madison316485
Rankin312173
Lee251566
Jones234077
Forrest229468
Washington214771
Lafayette199339
Lauderdale1977122
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Oktibbeha172549
Lamar154833
Neshoba1513103
Panola140326
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Sunflower136943
Warren136249
Leflore133279
Pike119848
Pontotoc119616
Monroe116665
Scott114925
Copiah114533
Coahoma108926
Holmes107658
Marshall105914
Grenada102634
Lincoln102652
Yazoo102527
Simpson99841
Union96223
Tate94337
Leake93235
Adams88133
Wayne86421
Pearl River83349
Marion82832
Covington78721
Prentiss77317
Alcorn74610
Newton74222
George74013
Itawamba72921
Tallahatchie72517
Winston71819
Tishomingo64035
Attala63325
Chickasaw63124
Tippah62016
Walthall58525
Clay55916
Hancock54420
Noxubee53915
Jasper53214
Clarke51937
Smith51514
Calhoun50612
Tunica47013
Claiborne44716
Montgomery44420
Lawrence42112
Yalobusha41014
Perry38216
Humphreys36815
Quitman3595
Stone34511
Greene33316
Webster32613
Jefferson Davis31711
Carroll30612
Amite30310
Wilkinson29917
Kemper28415
Sharkey25811
Jefferson2349
Benton2081
Franklin1833
Choctaw1775
Issaquena1023
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 128097

Reported Deaths: 2264
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson18531332
Mobile12931288
Montgomery8546170
Madison730373
Tuscaloosa6984109
Lee557059
Shelby544649
Baldwin500347
Marshall375942
Etowah324744
Calhoun316538
Morgan311825
Houston258621
Elmore246847
DeKalb229319
St. Clair217434
Walker217480
Talladega199125
Limestone190819
Cullman179717
Dallas172526
Franklin170328
Russell16852
Autauga161924
Lauderdale159031
Colbert156024
Escambia153824
Blount148713
Jackson144210
Chilton142824
Dale127442
Covington127227
Coffee12357
Pike11289
Tallapoosa112483
Chambers110742
Clarke104316
Marion90328
Butler90138
Barbour8097
Marengo69419
Winston68012
Lowndes64327
Pickens61514
Bibb6129
Hale60928
Bullock58314
Randolph58112
Lawrence57320
Monroe5708
Washington54213
Geneva5364
Perry5366
Wilcox52911
Cherokee52615
Conecuh51611
Crenshaw50731
Clay5057
Macon46619
Henry4474
Sumter41419
Fayette4088
Choctaw34212
Lamar3272
Cleburne3056
Greene29715
Coosa1573
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