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Suspect accused in horrific burning death of Mississippi teen Jessica Chambers gave bizarre explanation for burn marks

September 30, 2018  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Suspect accused in horrific burning death of Mississippi teen Jessica Chambers gave bizarre explanation for burn marks

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The murder suspect on trial in Mississippi who stands accused of setting 19-year-old Jessica Chambers on fire gave investigators questioning him a bizarre explanation for burn marks that they noticed on him.

Quinton Tellis, 29, maintained he sustained the burns from a bonfire in an interrogation video, which was presented to jurors Friday at his retrial in Panola County Circuit Court for the former cheerleader’s horrific slaying.

Tellis — who is facing a charge of capital murder — said that he fell while he was hanging out around a fire pit and tried to jump over a grill.

“I ran back to the barbecue grill and jumped,” Tellis told a detective. “I made it but at the end, I fell in the fire and they pulled me up.”

The clips — which were recorded in 2015 and early 2016 — also showed Tellis repeatedly altering his story about Chambers’ final day on December 6th, 2014. The teen was killed after she was drenched in gasoline and set on fire on a rural street in Courtland.

Tellis contended in the interrogation room that he last saw the teen earlier in the day when they were driving with her friend, according to the New York Post.

But he switched his story when he was shown surveillance video and cellular data that placed them together that night, alleging that his last interaction with Jessica Chambers was when he gave her $10 that afternoon to get Taco Bell.

Prosecutors also demonstrated that he lied about his alibi by originally telling authorities that he was in his friend Big Mike’s truck the afternoon Chambers was murdered. When informed that Big Mike was in Nashville that day for a football game, he then admitted he might not have been in his friend’s vehicle.

In the videos, Tellis became emotional when he denied killing the girl, who he reportedly had a sexual relationship with.

“I never killed nobody,” Tellis told investigators. “I don’t got it in my heart.”

The interrogation videos marked the fourth day of testimony in Tellis’ retrial after his first concluded last year with a hung jury.

His defense lawyers contended this week he was falsely accused because multiple emergency personnel heard the dying teen say that “Derek” or “Eric” was the person responsible.

Prosecutors, however, noted that Chambers wouldn’t have been able to articulate words given the severity of her injuries.

Tellis is also facing another murder indictment in the fatal stabbing of Meing-Chen Hsiao in Monroe, Louisiana back in 2015. He already pleaded guilty in the case to illegal use of her debit card. He is serving time behind bars for an unrelated burglary charge.

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