Sunday 22 October 2017

'Horrific pain, horrific burns' - Cheerleader (19) dies after she was burned alive on side of the road

Quinton Tellis is accused of burning 19-year-old Jessica Chambers alive in her car.
Quinton Tellis is accused of burning 19-year-old Jessica Chambers alive in her car.
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

A man has been accused of murdering a 19-year-old cheerleader by setting her on fire by the side of the road.

Quinton Tellis (29) has been accused of killing Jessica Chambers on December 6 2014.

Ms Chambers was spotted running around the road on flames, wearing only her underwear, by another driver.

She had burns on about 93 percent of her body when she was found.

When emergency services attended the scene, Ms Chambers told them that a man named Eric, not Quinton Tellis, set her on fire.

In his opening statement, Prosecutor John Champion acknowledged that the first responders did hear her say the name "Eric" or "Derek" but that she could have been saying "Tellis," but the damage done to her throat made it sound different.

He added that Mr Tellis repeatedly lied to investigators about spending time with her in the hours before she was found. He also said that Mr Tellis had repeatedly asked Chambers for sex, and she had told him no, according to Fox news.

Mr Champion said phone records show that Ms Chambers and Mr Tellis were together twice on the day she was burned.

The pair were driving around the town earlier that day.

Citing statements Mr Tellis made to investigators, Mr Champion said Mr Tellis and Ms Chambers had sex in her car later that evening. The prosecutor said he believes Mr Tellis suffocated Ms Chambers and thought he had killed her.

It's alleged that Mr Tellis then drove ms Chambers' car with her inside it to the back road, ran to his sister's house nearby, jumped in his sisters' car, stopped to pick up gasoline from a shed at his house and torched Ms Chambers' car and her.

"Horrific burns," Mr Champion said. "Horrific pain."

According to Fox News, Mr Tellis later acknowledged they were together in the evening, saying he met her to sell her marijuana and had sex with her in her car, Champion said. The prosecutor also said Tellis' alibi was fabricated.

Mr Tellis faces another murder indictment in Louisiana, where he's accused in the torture death of Meing-Chen Hsiao, a 34-year-old Taiwanese graduate student at the University of Louisiana at Monroe. No trial date has been set in that case.

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