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.

Cases: 319115

Reported Deaths: 7353
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto22246264
Hinds20612421
Harrison18342316
Rankin13855282
Jackson13666248
Madison10213224
Lee10050176
Jones8452167
Forrest7810153
Lauderdale7253242
Lowndes6488149
Lamar632288
Lafayette6295120
Washington5412136
Bolivar4833133
Panola4659110
Oktibbeha465898
Pearl River4591146
Marshall4571105
Warren4436121
Pontotoc424573
Union415576
Monroe4154135
Neshoba4059179
Lincoln4007111
Hancock385187
Leflore3514125
Tate342386
Sunflower339391
Pike3366110
Alcorn323272
Scott319274
Yazoo313971
Adams304785
Itawamba304777
Copiah299666
Coahoma298283
Simpson297889
Tippah291168
Prentiss283361
Leake271674
Marion271280
Covington266683
Wayne264442
Grenada264087
George251851
Newton248563
Tishomingo230867
Winston229881
Jasper222048
Attala214973
Chickasaw210459
Holmes190374
Clay187454
Stone187233
Tallahatchie179941
Clarke178980
Calhoun173732
Yalobusha167740
Smith164034
Walthall135147
Greene131633
Lawrence131024
Montgomery128643
Noxubee127934
Perry126638
Amite125942
Carroll122330
Webster115032
Tunica107927
Jefferson Davis107633
Claiborne102930
Benton102225
Humphreys97533
Kemper96628
Franklin84923
Quitman81816
Choctaw79018
Wilkinson69332
Jefferson66228
Sharkey50817
Issaquena1696
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 547323

Reported Deaths: 11266
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson808021563
Mobile41925826
Madison35600522
Tuscaloosa26136458
Shelby25554254
Montgomery25067610
Baldwin21774313
Lee16234175
Calhoun14692325
Morgan14614285
Etowah14132361
Marshall12443230
Houston10748287
Elmore10295212
Limestone10180157
St. Clair10146250
Cullman9921200
Lauderdale9582248
DeKalb8955189
Talladega8441184
Walker7318279
Autauga7215113
Blount6925139
Jackson6900113
Colbert6394139
Coffee5616126
Dale4928114
Russell454441
Chilton4461116
Franklin430683
Covington4263122
Tallapoosa4117154
Escambia400280
Chambers3715123
Dallas3604156
Clarke352861
Marion3231106
Pike313978
Lawrence3121100
Winston283372
Bibb267364
Geneva256981
Marengo250565
Pickens236562
Barbour234559
Hale226578
Butler223371
Fayette217162
Henry193843
Cherokee187245
Randolph186844
Monroe179141
Washington170339
Macon163051
Clay159559
Crenshaw155057
Cleburne152543
Lamar145837
Lowndes141953
Wilcox127030
Bullock124242
Conecuh112930
Coosa111129
Perry108726
Sumter105732
Greene93434
Choctaw61725
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