Home / National News / Man Indicted for Murder in Mysterious Case of Burned Teen Jessica Chambers


(PANOLA COUNTY, Miss.) — A 27-year-old man has been indicted in the murder of Mississippi teen Jessica Chambers, who was burned to death in December 2014, the Panola County District Attorney’s office confirmed to ABC News Wednesday.

Courtland, Mississippi, resident Quinton Tellis was charged with capital murder, District Attorney John Champion said in a press conference Wednesday. Tellis is from the same hometown as Chambers, he said.

Tellis is currently being housed at the Ouachita Parish Correctional Facility in Monroe, Louisiana, on an unrelated case, court records show.

Tellis was indicted as a habitual offender under Mississippi law, the district attorney’s office said. He has previously been convicted of felony fleeing and of two separate burglaries, according to the district attorney’s office.

“It’s unnerving that someone is capable of this degree of evil,” an investigator said at Wednesday’s press conference.

Chambers was found barely alive near her mother’s home in Courtland on Dec. 6, 2014, with burns covering 98 percent of her body. First responders fought to save her, but the 19-year-old died shortly after being airlifted to the hospital.

Tellis was a suspect in the case early on, Champion said today, adding that the two knew each other. The prosecutor said he didn’t anticipate charging anyone else in Chambers’ death.

“We do feel like, at this point, that he acted alone in this case,” Champion said.

Champion could not discuss any information that Tellis may have provided authorities with or any evidence collected in the investigation, he said in the press conference.

The district attorney also would not discuss a motive for Chambers’ murder, but said he doesn’t believe it was drug or gang-related.

Though capital murder is punishable by the death penalty, Champion said he is not sure whether he will pursue it.

It was not immediately clear if Tellis had obtained a lawyer. He has not yet entered a plea to the new charge against him.

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