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Judge declines to remove prosecutor from case

A Mississippi judge is denying an attempt to throw a prosecutor off a murder case in which a man is accused of setting a woman on fire.

Posted: Jul 9, 2018 4:08 PM

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A Mississippi judge is denying an attempt to throw a prosecutor off a murder case in which a man is accused of setting a woman on fire.

Circuit Judge Gerald Chatham ruled Monday that nothing a district attorney had done had harmed the legal case of Quinton Tellis, who is accused of setting 19-year-old Jessica Chambers on fire in 2014.

Lawyers for Tellis had asked Chatham to remove District Attorney John Champion, saying he tried to coach testimony against Tellis from another man accused of murder.

Champion says he didn't violate rules by talking to Jalen Caudle without his lawyer because he was there to talk to Caudle as a witness against Tellis.

Tellis' first trial ended in a hung jury and he's scheduled for retrial.

Witnesses testified Chambers said "Eric" attacked her. Tellis' lawyer alleges Champion tried to get Caudle to testify that Chambers called Tellis "Eric." Champion says Caudle offered that statement freely, that Champion didn't believe Caudle, and doesn't plan to use it at trial.

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