Firefighters: Burned woman said 'Eric' set her on fire

Quinton Tellis 29 charged with burning 19-year-old Jessica Chambers to death almost three years ago looks away as he sits in a Batesville Miss. courtroom waiting for his trial to begin Tuesday Oct. 10 2017. Chambers was on fire when she was disco

Quinton Tellis 29 charged with burning 19-year-old Jessica Chambers to death almost three years ago looks away as he sits in a Batesville Miss. courtroom waiting for his trial to begin Tuesday Oct. 10 2017. Chambers was on fire when she was disco

Tellis' trial began in Batesville, Mississippi, about 80 kilometres south of Memphis, Tennessee.

Authorities said Tellis doused Chambers and then set her on fire, leading to her death several hours later at a Memphis hospital.

Tellis, 29, pleaded not guilty to killing Ms. Chambers, who was found lying next to her burning auto on a back road roughly 3 years ago. The charge is capital murder because the victim passed away during the alleged commission of third-degree arson.

On Tuesday, during opening statements, District Attorney John Champion acknowledged that that's not the name of the man he's prosecuting, but told jurors he believed evidence in the case would "change your mind". A trial date in Louisiana is pending the outcome of his trial in Mississippi.

Firefighter Shane Mills said he was horrified to see her condition.

A trial this week could shed some light on the mystery behind the gruesome death of a 19-year-old MS woman who was set on fire and left to die beside her burning auto. Clearly, not the name of the defendant on trial.

"At a certain point I even set down close to her", said Cole, battling back tears.

Defence attorney Darla Palmer said Tellis is wrongly accused. Where Champion took nearly an hour to laid out the basis of his case, Palmer didn't make it to 10 minutes. Mills said he knew Chambers, but did not recognize her at first.

Citing statements Mr Tellis made to investigators, Mr Champion said Mr Tellis and Ms Chambers had sex in her vehicle later that evening. On top of that, the cell phone data used to place Tellis' location was imprecise. She said her daughter took a nap mid-day on December, until being awakened by a call or text. He was later charged in her death as well, but has yet to stand trial.

Champion said her auto keys were found at the scene, allegedly with Tellis' DNA on them. Her vehicle keys were later found nearby, and they had Tellis' DNA on them, Champion said. He testified to finding the horrifically burned Chambers at the scene.

"I bowed down and I stated, 'Nectar, who did this to you?' And all I heard was Eric", Hailey told the court. Chambers again responded, "Eric".

"I was in a daze", Haley said in court.

"There appeared to be a zombie coming out of the woods", Jody Morris, a volunteer firefighter, also reportedly testified. He testified to also being at the scene, talking to the badly burned Chambers. He also said that Mr Tellis had repeatedly asked Chambers for sex, and she had told him no, according to Fox news.

In an unrelated case, he has been indicted for murder in the death of Meing-Chen Hsiao, a 34-year-old Taiwanese graduate student in Louisiana. She didn't know the person's last name.

Stay with LawNewz.com and the LawNewz Network for continuing coverage of the trial.

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