Mississippi Man Indicted For Capital Murder In 2014 Burning Death Of Jessica Chambers

Chuck Ross Investigative Reporter
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A Mississippi grand jury has indicted 27-year-old Quinton Tellis on capital murder charges for the heinous Dec. 2014 murder-by-fire of 19-year-old Jessica Chambers.

On Dec. 6, 2014, firefighters found a badly burned Chambers walking near her car, which had been set on fire on a rural road near Courtland, Miss.

She had been doused with gasoline and died hours later with burns on 98 percent of her body.

The murder became one of the most high-profile cases in Mississippi history and made national headlines, both because of the gruesome nature of the killing and because of the difficulty investigators had in uncovering any leads.

More than 150 witnesses were interviewed and a $54,000 reward was posted for information leading to an arrest. The FBI was also brought in to aid the investigation.

A special grand jury indicted Tellis, who is being held in Monroe, Louisiana on charges related to the Aug. 2015 killing of a University of Louisiana, Monroe exchange student. Tellis was found with the student’s credit card and had made purchased using it.

According to The Clarion-Ledger, the exchange student, 34-year-old Meing-Chen Hsiao, had been found stabbed to death in her apartment on Aug. 8, 2015. Tellis’ Facebook account, which is still active, indicates that he married his long-time fiancee on or around the day that Hsiao’s body was found. He has not been charged with murdering Hsiao.

Quinton Tellis

Quinton Tellis (Facebook)

Authorities did not speak to a motive in Chambers’ death, though she and Tellis are said to have been dating in the weeks before her death. The two lived near each other in Courtland, a town of about 460 that lies in the northwestern part of the state.

“We were all amazed at the total lack of information coming from our street sources,” Panola County district attorney John Champion said during a press conference on Wednesday.

“That led us to focus on our belief that it was one person who did not say anything to anybody. We knew without getting the information from the street, that this case was going to be forensically and data-driven.”

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